Palit GT 240 Sonic ReviewRHKCommander959 - November 18, 2009
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After installing video cards, users will need to install the drivers to properly initialize them. Palit provides both a Quick Installation Guide to get the card installed and running properly, and a driver disc to install the main drivers and a few extra programs like Badaboom. PhysX and CUDA are two supported technologies that enable software to run faster than before for video encoding as well as other types of number crunching – Folding@Home makes good use of nVidia cards as well. Vtune is a program that comes on the disc and automatically installs with the drivers. It sits in the taskbar and has several options for adjusting video performance: overclocking, fan control, and resolution, even a magnifying glass application. Inserting the driver disc will bring about a green autoplay window with options for installing drivers and software. When installing the drivers, users will be prompted to first install Microsoft DirectX, and once that is complete it continues on to the needed drivers for the user's version of Windows.
Installing the nVidia drivers is really straightforward, just agreeing to terms and conditions and clicking next a few times. Once the drivers are done and the system has been reset to reinitialize the video card, Badaboom can be properly installed. Badaboom does not require a system restart before the first run, so on to the program!
Once installed it empowers users to quickly convert and compress movies for devices such as smart phones, portable media devices, and the Internet aided by nVidia CUDA technologies. The program is fairly basic so users shouldn't have too hard of a time getting it to do what they need from it, however it only installs as a free limited time trial. Clicking on the advanced tab can also be daunting as there aren't a whole lot of options but the ones that are there may not make sense immediately. The program can make use of DVDs, DVD files, and other files for converting and compression.
Vtune is an application that sits in the tray – allowing easy access to system information and graphical performance and settings. Clicking the first application brings up desktop resolution, color, font size, and refresh rate options to adjust the environment to one's desires.
The information page lists out basic information about the system in general, good for troubleshooting problems. A tab is also checkable to enable or disable the Vtune program from running on startup. The performance page allows for the Core, Memory, and Shader clock speeds to be changed with the Core and Shaders being unlinkable for squeezing out every extra MHz on big overclocks. The settings can be applied to either 3D or 2D settings, the safe mode button runs the card at tolerable clock rates while the test button is suppose to be a stability test – it only runs for a few seconds as a loading bar and wouldn’t do anything different whether the card was suffering from artifacts or not, so this feature likely doesn’t work properly.
The fan control page has two tabs above a pair of gauges – the tabs allow users to let the fan run automatically or be set to a manual speed. The software was sluggish when adjusting the slider underneath the gauge, and both 2D and 3D would move to match each other. When the desired speed was set, the gauge would move to represent the speed. Also, temperature readouts for the GPU core were available underneath the gauges– at idle this card was barely above 30C, load somewhere around 60.
The next two pages are independent of Vtune. Display Properties is just the Windows Display Properties dialogue box, and the DirectX information page comes from the diagnostic DirectX application.
Lastly, the magnification application, it was a little tricky to use but did magnify well, although it didn’t apply anything special to the magnification and did have some bugs. This program is an interesting idea although personally I wouldn’t likely find a need for it.
Time to take a look at the card on paper.