SHARE

Intro

The GeForce GT 1030 is an entry-level video card from NVIDIA, based on Pascal architecture, aimed on the low-consumption and super low-cost markets. Let’s see if can it be used for casual gaming.

The GeForce GT 1030 is based on the GP108 chip, manufactured under 14 nm technology, with 384 cores. Its base clock is 1,227 Mhz and its turbo clock is 1,468 MHz.

Unlike mainstream cards like the ones based on GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, that use a 128 bit memory bus, the GeForce GT 1030 uses a 64 bit bus, accessing 2 GiB of GDDR5 memory at 6 GHz. So, it has a bandwidth of 48 GiB/s. Notice, however, that there are video cards based on the same chip with different characteristics, like DDR3 memory and 128 bits versions.

The GeForce GT 1030 is not actually aimed on gaming, but on general use desktop computers that need a “real” video card. Its naming makes it clear: gaming video cards from NVIDIA are named GeForce GTX, while the general-use ones are GeForce GT.

One of the highlights of the GeForce GT 1030 is its low power consumption: its TDP is only 30 W, which means it doesn’t need an additional power connector. It also allows the manufacturers to build compact cards, with half-heigth (like the model we tested) or even with passive cooling (without a fan).

Obviously, another key characteristic of the GT 1030 is its low cost, around USD 70.

The competitor of the GT 1030 is the Radeon RX 550 from AMD. However, this time we are testing the GT 1030 against a GeForce GTX 1050, in order to answer two questions: if the GT 1030 is powerful enough for a casual player, and, in the case of a positive answer, if it has a good price/performance ratio.

The GeForce GT 1030 does not support SLI, Ansel, G-SYNC, GameStream, VR Ready, and Simultaneous Multiprojection technologies, present on GTX models.

The GeForce GT 1030 we tested is manufactured by Gigabyte, model number GV-N1030D5-2GL (also called “GT 1030 Low Profile 2G”), which is a low profile model, bringing a bracket to be used on “slim” (half-height) cases. It uses standard clocks on normal mode, and a base clock of 1,252 MHz base clock and 1,506 MHz turbo clock on OC mode (selected by an app).

Figure 1 shows the Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 video card.

GeForce GT 1030Figure 1: the Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 (GV-N1030D5-2GL)

In the table below, we compare the main specs from the video cards we included in this review. Prices were researched at Newegg.com for this article.

Video card

Core clock

Turbo clock

Effective memory clock

Memory bus

Memory bandwidth

Memory

Processing cores

TDP

DirectX

Price

Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 (GV-N1030D5-2GL)

1,227 MHz

1,468 MHz

6.0 GHz

64 bit

48 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

384

30 W

12.1

USD 73

Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini

1,354 MHz

1,455 MHz

7.0 GHz

128 bit

112 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

640

75 W

12.1

USD 120

Now let’s take a closer look to the tested video card.