Although Nvidia launched the GeForce GT 240 about two weeks ago, on November 17th, there are a few reasons why we are just looking at it now. First and foremost, around the same time, AMD launched the ATI Radeon HD 5970, which was a far more exciting product and much of our time was spent testing it.
The other reason is that we received our sample late and did not want to rush the review, especially having seen the preliminary results. After all, the factory overclocked Gainward GeForce GT240 1024MB GDDR5 Golden Sample was bettered by the old GeForce 9600 GT in quite a few of the games tested.
It was also outclassed in every test by the GeForce 9800 GT, which despite targeting a higher end segment at launch, is really nothing more than a rebadged 8800 GT -- now a 2 year old product.
Indeed Nvidia planned the GeForce GT 240 to sit between the GT 220 and GeForce 9800 GT in price and performance, though we can't help but wonder what the point of this is. Like its lower-end sibling, in terms of value the new GT 240 is a huge disappointment and I am not about to sugar coat that fact. Priced at around $100, we see no real reason why anyone would buy one, other than to possibly use it as a dedicated PhysX card.
Today you can purchase a GeForce 9600 GT for $80, while the faster 9800 GT can be had for roughly the same price as Nvidia's latest budget card. Furthermore, in most of our tests the Radeon HD 4770 destroyed the GeForce GT240, and at around $110 it is not a great deal more expensive.
However, for those serious about gaming we strongly suggest going for the Radeon HD 5750, which is hardly going to break the bank priced at $145.
Looking at our results the GeForce GT240 was unable to deliver playable performance in many games where the Radeon HD 5750 performed remarkably well, even at 1920x1200 resolutions. While it could be argued that power consumption levels are better on the GeForce GT240 compared to the 9800 GT, Radeon HD 4770 or 5750, they are not in relative terms due to its inferior overall performance.
We see no real reason for the GeForce GT 240, at least not at its current price point. This is rather unfortunate as we would have liked to see Nvidia place some real pressure on AMD's low-end products.