Nvidia has quietly rolled out a new addition to its range of graphics cards that finally makes the Fermi architecture available to users on a tight budget. The GeForce GT 430 comes in at around $80 and is being is targeted at the HTPC market, where video playback support is more important than raw 3D performance. It’s based on the GF108 graphics core, which is built using a 40nm manufacturing process, and includes 96 CUDA cores, a 700MHz core clock speed, 1GB of DDR3 clocked at 900MHz, a 128bit memory bus, along with 128KB of L2 cache and a block of 4 ROPs.

Other features include support for HDMI 1.4a, which is necessary for full resolution 3D television and Blu-Ray, HD 24-bit multi-channel audio up to 192KHz, DirectX 11, and of course Nvidia's PhysX technology. ASUS, EVGA, MSI, PNY and others are already shipping the new card, while system builders should start using the GT 430 in pre-assembled PCs soon.

Although the card is not intended for gamers, Nvidia claims you can expect up to 1.5x the performance of "previous generation products" and playable frame rates in all of today's top titles. That said, Anandtech took the time to run the card through some tests and found that the Radeon HD 5570, which also sells for around $80, can ‘confidently’ beat the GT 430 in both gaming and image quality. You can read the complete report here.