Zotac GeForce GT 430 Zone Edition review

Another passively cooled graphics card but one that doesn't break the bank

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For

  • Quiet in operation
  • Price

Against

  • Needs good airflow to keep cool
  • Would be better on 1/2 height board

Now this is a little more what we'd like to see from a passively-cooled card. The GT 430 is a far lower-spec beast than the relatively pacey Gigabyte HD 5770 Silent Cell, but what I'm talking about here is not being penalised in the wallet department for wanting something a bit quieter.

This is the same price as the Asus GeForce GT 430 and with the same basic specs. What's different, however, is the fact that it doesn't come with any moving parts (and hence no dustproof fan…) and sits on a more normal-sized PCB.

This last part is strangely at odds with its raison d'etre. The GT 430 is a GPU to slot into a media centre machine, just like AMD's HD 5570 before it. The first versions we saw came on half-height PCBs for this reason.

Now we've got a card that won't fit into a media centre chassis, but comes with the sort of passive cooling you'd want in one.

It needs a fair bit of airflow across those passive cooling fans too: in our test-rig it was quite capable of hitting over 90°C when it was stressed at all. So them wee cases are right out.

As for performance, you're talking near-identical scores to the Asus GT 430. But this isn't about performance, it's about delivering Nvidia's DX11 goodness and its GPU extras, like CUDA, into the low-end market.

Personally though I think for this sort of card, the half-height PCB makes more sense: after all, the dustproof fan on the Asus card isn't exactly going to sound like a turbine, is it?

Putting it onto a larger board means Zotac can offer this passive-cooling array, but is going to seriously limit where the card is able to be installed. I'd want the GT 430 for a small form factor machine.

If you've got anything larger, save up and spend an extra £25 to £30 on a GTS 450 instead.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerNVIDIA
Chipset Model430
HDMIYes
Chipset LineGeForce
Chipset SeriesGT
DisplayPortYes
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1600
Brand NameZotac
Standard Memory1 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 2.0 x16
HDCP SupportedYes
Bus Width128 bit
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
RAMDAC Speed400 MHz
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
DVIYes
Number of DisplayPort Outputs1
Number of DVI Outputs1
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
ManufacturerZOTAC International
Memory Speed1600 MHz
Product ModelZT-40601-20L
Product NameZT-40601-20L GeForce GT 430 Graphics Card
Manufacturer Part NumberZT-40601-20L
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.zotac.com
Marketing Information

Experience quiet computing bliss and phenomenal Microsoft DirectX 11 visuals with the ZOTAC GeForce GT 430 ZONE Edition. The ZOTAC GeForce GT 430 ZONE Edition delivers a perfect balance of performance and features while maintaining silence during operation to let users focus on stunning visuals uninterrupted by fan noise.

Home theater PC-friendly features such as high-definition hardware video decode, Adobe Flash acceleration, Bluray 3D readiness, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreaming makes the ZOTAC GeForce GT 430 ZONE Edition the ideal companion for high-definition televisions. All the features enable the ZOTAC GeForce GT 430 ZONE Edition to playback all available video formats and streaming Internet video flawlessly with striking detail.

Package Contents
  • ZT-40601-20L GeForce GT 430 Graphics Card
  • Disk
  • User Manual
  • DVI-to-VGA Adapter
Limited Warranty2 Year
API SupportedDirectX 11.0, OpenGL 4.0