Nvidia announces GeForce GT 440 cards

Nvidia has announced the retail launch of its latest GPU, the GT 440, which is aimed at budget-concious consumers who don't want to pay the earth for acceptable gaming performance and 3D support.

While the GT 440 design has been out for a while, it has previously only been available as an OEM part manufactured by Nvidia and sold directly to system builders. Today, however, the company has made the card available to all via its various hardware partners.

The stock GT 440 design features 144 CUDA processing cores, a graphics clock of 594MHz, and a shader clock of 1189MHz. 1.5GB or 3GB of GDDR3 memory is connected to a 192-bit bus running at 800MHz or 900MHz, depending on model.

In contrast, the retail model is a much more sedate affair. While many hardware partners have yet to confirm the specifications of their boards, Zotac has announced that its GT 440 implementation will feature just 512MB or 1GB of GDDR5 on a 128-bit bus along with a mere 96 CUDA cores.

The good news is that the drop in specifications comes with a boost in speed: the graphics clock has been upped to a more impressive 810MHz, while the shader clock runs at 1620MHz.

Board partner Gigabyte has a similar tale to tell, boosting the graphics clock to 830MHz and the shader clock to 1660MHz while adding TurboCache support to increase the amount of texture memory available to games.

Although the boards aren't likely to tempt gamers away from the higher-end models, the specifications are certainly reasonable enough - and now it just remains to be seen how much the boards cost when they hit our shores.