For the lowest-end video cards, a common practice by manufacturers is to substitute in slower VRAM – recently, this meant swapping out GDDR5 for DDR3 – saving costs in a product that typically would not be able to utilize the extra memory bandwidth. For quite some time now, we have been used to seeing DDR3 in those ultra low-end cards – until now. Sometime last month, NVIDIA quietly released the GeForce GT 1030 DDR4, with several models filtering out through add-in board partners.

In addition to slower-clocked DDR4 VRAM, the GT 1030 DDR4’s core clocks have also been reduced, though the exact boost clocks differ between custom boards. The end result of 2100Mbps DDR4 from 6008Mbps GDDR5 does reduce the bandwidth from around 48 GB/s to 16.8 GB/s, though with no change to memory size and bus width. It appears that the DDR4 variants are also lower power, with a 20W TDP as opposed to 30W.

Specifications of Selected NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 Cards
  Palit GT 1030 MSI GT 1030 Gigabyte Low Profile GT 1030
Base Clock 1227 MHz 1151 MHz 1265 MHz 1189 MHz 1227 MHz (Gaming) 1151 MHz (Gaming)
1252 MHz (OC) 1177 MHz (OC)
Boost Clock 1468 MHz 1379 MHz 1518 MHz 1430 MHz 1468 MHz 
1379 MHz 
1506 MHz (OC) 1417 MHz (OC)
VRAM Clocks 6000 Mbps 2100 Mbps 6008 Mbps 2100 Mbps 6008 Mbps 2100 Mbps
Capacity 2 GB
Bus Width 64-bit
Power Consumption 30W 20W 30W 20W unspecified

Interestingly, some of the listed documentation shows two different core names: “GP108-300” and “GP108-310.” But while “GP108” is affiliated with the lower-clocked, lower TDP DDR4 variant, certain GDDR5 models (AERO ITX 2G OC, AERO ITX 2G OCV1, 2G LP OC, 2G LP OCV1, 2G LP OCV2) list both core names in their specification sheets but with everything else unchanged, leaving it unclear what the differences are between these two GP108 bins.

The official NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 product page mentions nothing of the change, though it does note that specifications of partner board may vary. In any case, each of the model names bar one differentiate the peculiarity with a “D4” moniker. Though the consequence of the bandwidth difference is much less with such low-end cards, particularly with ones under a tighter power budget, it is unclear how much of a performance hit this entails.

Nevertheless, given the overall shift away from DDR3 production, we should soon see future lower-end cards equipped with DDR4 over DDR3.

Source: MSI (via SH SOTN)

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  • CheapSushi - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    Would love if it was x1 PCIe slot. That's the only thing missing currently. There's plenty of cards for everything else. I would love something new to replace the GT 710 from Zotac.
  • superunknown98 - Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - link

    So this card has less bandwidth than most iGPU's? I never thought I would see the day.....
  • eastcoast_pete - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    Yes, that IS amazing and depressing. Just to make people like me (potential buyer/user) feel even worse, compare the bandwidth of this dedicated (!) graphics card to the memory bandwidth in the current gen iPhone*, which is close to 60 Gb/s, and yes, that's with LPDDR4 - but then, Apple uses a 128 bit memory bus. Take a look, Nvidia, it's not that difficult!
    * I do not own, or have ever owned, an IPhone. makes this even more galling!
  • Harry_Wild - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    I heard that most video card manufacturer overstated the card's power requirement because a lot of the aftermarket power supplies actually do not deliver their stated wattage. If I known this, I would have not upgrades my power supply!
  • vidal6x6 - Friday, April 6, 2018 - link

    Yeah... i can run q9550 3.4ghz and a 8600gts on a chinese 500w (200w maximum) but cannot run with my 6770. Thats a lie. New system only pull 1/4 from a core 2 quad era. Thats not chinese worst power supply. But a nvidia boot on users face.
  • Cloylover - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    I love the GT 1030 for the fanless design, a now with lower wattage I expect it to work even cooler. It's not in the range of gaming GPU, it is used so no ram is taken from the CPU for graphics. It fits that niche perfectly.
  • xMetaRidley - Sunday, April 8, 2018 - link

    It absolutely is in the range of a basic gaming GPU and that might be part of the problem. Gutting the bandwidth is going to make this thing pathetic for gaming and basically a $90 HDMI 2.0 card.
  • albert89 - Friday, April 6, 2018 - link

    You'll find that the performance and power saving of the GDDR4 GT1030 will be marginal compared with the GT730. But the price will be substantial. Definitely a ripoff to ignorant customers.
  • bennyg - Friday, April 6, 2018 - link

    The low end stuff has always been the spare parts bin crossed with the lucky dip. Fobbing off stuff onto consumers who don't care or don't know
  • chrcoluk - Saturday, April 7, 2018 - link

    Well I own a 1030 (GDDR5 version), as I needed a GPU for an intel i5 750, these older intel chips have no iGPU. When I got the 1030 I noticed that nvidia owned that segment of the market, the only competition was previous generation nvidia hardware, AMD dont have anything in that price or TDP range. So the lack of competition has meant nvidia can take this kind of action knowing it wont hurt sales. This definitely should be a new SKU, its classic bait and switch.

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