Nvidia GeForce 9400 GT review

£37
Price when reviewed

As Nvidia’s cheapest current generation graphics card, the GeForce 9400 GT has a specific remit: to perform the basic tasks of a media-centre PC at the lowest price possible. That it manages to come in at £32 exc VAT is impressive – in the same ballpark as ATI’s bargain-basement HD 4350 – but unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to its rival’s performance.

Nvidia GeForce 9400 GT review

We expected little in games and we weren’t proved wrong. Just 15fps in Crysis at medium settings is nowhere near playable, and while it’s slightly better than the HD 4350, neither will have you playing anything recent at acceptable quality levels.

That’s not the point of the 9400 GT, though. It has only 16 stream processors – the fewest of all here – and with the same meagre 256MB of memory and 550MHz core clock as the 9500 GT, it’s inevitably limited in what it can do.

That’s enough grunt to handle media decoding, as we found in our Blu-ray test: our old Athlon ran at around 68% throughout. The downside is that it isn’t quite as good as the 9500 GT, and lags further behind both of ATI’s media focused cards. The HD 4350, for example, typically costs £2 less, but it decoded our Blu-ray movie with the CPU at less than 40% load for the most part. In a low-power PC this is a big difference.

The Nvidia 9400 GT’s primary advantages – its small size and passive options – are also all shared by the cheaper ATI HD 4350, so we really can’t see a good reason to choose the Nvidia card as this month’s budget recommendation.

Core Specifications

Graphics card interfacePCI Express
Cooling typePassive
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce 9400 GT
Core GPU frequency550MHz
RAM capacity256MB
Memory typeGDDR3

Standards and compatibility

DirectX version support10.0
Shader model support4.0
Multi-GPU compatibilityTwo-way SLI

Connectors

DVI-I outputs1
DVI-D outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
S-Video outputs0
HDMI outputs0
Graphics card power connectorsN/A

Benchmarks

3D performance (crysis) high settings6fps

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