ZOTAC GeForce GT 640 ZONE Edition Fanless GPU

Graphics Cards
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ZOTAC GeForce GT 640 ZONE Edition Fanless GPU

September 17, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

ZOTAC GeForce GT 640 ZONE Edition
PCI-E Graphics Card
Street Price

The GeForce 600 series have been getting fairly good reviews since their release. NVIDIA's new 28 nm Kepler core is the driving force behind their new cadre of high performance, energy efficient graphics cards that are fairly competitive with AMD's HD 7000 series. Improvements in this latest generation include an updated video decoder that can render 4K resolutions, support for up to four displays, and PCI Express 3.0. They've also thrown in GPU Boost, which overclocks the GPU dynamically based on the current power draw (similar to features found on AMD and Intel CPUs) but only for the GTX 660 and higher.

As usual, many of the lower models have gotten lost in this launch, even though most GPU sales occur at the more modest price-points. These slower cards don't promise the buttery performance of its higher-end counterparts but with lesser hardware inside, they use less power, opening up the possibility of quiet or even silent cooling. While powerhouses like the GeForce GTX 680 and 670 are impressive technological specimens, you won't see one outfitted with a fanless heatsink anytime soon. The lower echelon of the GT 600 series is better suited due to more thrifty energy requirements; they carry TDPs of 65W or lower.

Low-End Retail GeForce 600 Series Comparison
Card Model
GT 620
GT 630
GT 640
GT 650
Mfg. Process
40 nm
40 nm
28 nm
28 nm
Transistor Count
585 mil.
585 mil.
1300 mil.
1300 mil.
CUDA Cores
Core Clock*
700 MHz
810 MHz
900 MHz
1058 MHz
Memory Clock*
1800 MHz
1800 MHz / 3200 MHz
1782 MHz
5000 MHz
Memory Bandwidth
14.4 GB/s
28.8 GB/s / 51.2 GB/s
28.5 GB/s
80 GB/s
Street Price
US$109 (MSRP)
*reference clock speeds, actual speeds vary from model to model

Today we're looking at ZOTAC's GeForce GT 640 ZONE Edition which features a completely fanless heatsink. Like most US$100 GPUs, the GT 640 is a compromise model, not quite a serious gaming card but not a simple 2D/HTPC model either. Its 3D performance is greatly improved over the lower rungs on the ladder, however. Compared to the GT 620 and 630, it has more than twice as many transistors, more than thrice the number of CUDA cores (stream processors) and a higher core clock speed as well. However, it is saddled with same slow DDR3 memory which can be quite detrimental to performance. There's a full 2GB offered on the reference model which is excessive on a budget card; it increases cost and most of it will likely go unused.

It should be noted while the 28 nm Kepler core is found exclusively n the GeForce 600 series, some of models actually use the old 40 nm Fermi core. NVIDIA has a habit of rebranding old cards to fill various price-points. Retail GT 620's and 630's are actually rebadged GT 530's and 540's respectively but Kepler can be found in the OEM versions sold to system integrators like Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Also note that manufacturers often put out more than one SKU of a card with varying core and/or memory speeds, i.e. not all GT 640's are made equal.

The box.

Package contents.

The GT 640 ZONE Edition ships in a modestly sized package consisting of the card itself, documentation, a driver/software disc, a DVI to VGA adapter, and a 3-day pass for TrackMania 2: Canyon, a well-reviewed racing game from Ubisoft.

GPU-Z screenshot.

The listed specifications and GPU-Z both confirm that the ZONE Edition has the exact same specifications as the reference model.

ZOTAC GeForce GT 640 ZONE Edition (ZT-60204-20L):
(from the product web page)

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