It’s been happening incredibly quietly, but Nvidia and its AIB partners have been launching new Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 graphics cards with DDR4 video memory. No, not GDDR5 or GDDR3, but bog standard DDR4 RAM.
A number of graphics cards have already been spotted with this new, slower memory, including the Gigabyte GT 1030 Low Profile D4 2G, the Palit GeForce GT 1030, and the MSI GT 1030 2GD4 LP OC. Should you be looking to pick up a GeForce GT 1030 any time soon, odds are they’re going to try and sell you one of these.
But how does the DDR4 stack up? Well, with a memory clock speed of 2GHz, versus 6GHz on the reference model, it doesn’t compare very well at all. The total memory bandwidth shrinks to around a third of the 48GB/s offered by the standard GeForce GT 1030.
As if the slower memory wasn’t enough, it turns out that the GPUs have also been downclocked. MSI is currently offering two different models of GT 1030 - the GeForce GT 1030 2G LP OC (GDDR5) and the GeForce GT 1030 2GD4 LP OC (DDR4). On the GDDR5 model, the GPU is clocked at 1265MHz Base / 1518MHz Boost, while the DDR4 graphics card takes a cut to 1189MHz Base / 1430MHz Boost.
The only benefit to the end users for these new GeForce GT 1030 graphics cards seems to be reduced power consumption. The GeForce GT 1030 DDR4 has a total TDP of just 20W, compared to a still practically insignificant 30W on the GDDR5 model.
If you are looking to pick up a budget-priced graphics card then be very careful as the two versions of the GeForce GT 1030 will offer drastically different performance. Each of the models comes with absolutely minor differences to the names of serial numbers, so just double check with the supplier before going through with the purchase.