Meet the Asus ENGT430

For our look today at the GT 430, Asus graciously provided us with their GT 430 card, the ENGT430. As with all the other cards being released it’s a custom design, featuring the usual Asus design elements: a double-sealed fan, fuse protection, and - while we have a hard time believing this is an issue on such a small card – GPU guard PCB reinforcement.

For this card Asus is very specifically going after the HTPC market. The ENGT430 is a half-height card with a low-profile bracket included, and for cooling it uses a decently sized heatsink with a particularly tiny fan we measure at 36mm. The heatsink does stick up some, so the card is explicitly a double-slot card and you’ll want to make sure you have space for it.

As is the case with low-end cards, reference clocks don’t tend to mean much. While the GT 430 has a reference speed of 700MHz for the core and 1.8GHz effective for the DDR3 memory, Asus has gone ahead and clocked the card at 1.6GHz for the memory. The card is equipped with 8 800MHz (1.6GHz effective) Hynix DDR3 memory modules running in 16bit mode, which is why the card is clocked below NVIDIA’s reference clocks. We expect to see memory clocks all over the place with the launch cards, depending particularly on who could get the best deal on what speed grade of DDR3 RAM for these cards. Given that GT 430 is likely already a memory bandwidth challenged card, this will have an impact, although we don’t have the means to measure it (our card would only go to 1.75GHz on the RAM).

For ports Asus is going with what’s undoubtedly going to be the universal configuration for low-profile GT430 cards: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI, and 1 VGA port. The DVI port is necessary for monitors (without resorting to a dongle), the HDMI port is necessary for HTPC roles, and the VGA port being an easy addition as an optional 3rd port due to its analog nature. GF108 can only drive 2 monitors at once, so the usual restrictions apply.

As is common for budget cards, there’s little else besides the card in the box. Asus includes the low-profile bracket, a multilingual quick installation guide, and a driver CD. This is the first Asus card we’ve reviewed for some time without voltage tweaking capabilities, so even NVIDIA’s integrated overclocking utility is enough for the task.

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  • dnd728 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    That was word for word per ATI's instructions, if I wasn't clear enough.
    If I hadn't followed their instructions, then it would all have been my fault, right?
  • mr_datawolf - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    You were on an ALL In WONDER! What did you expect? Talk about niche!
    Look, I totally agree ATI has done many horrible things with their drivers in the past. But for most of the AIW's life it was the only real tv card out there, in the consumer market. The feature set was WAY beyond everyone else anywhere near that price point.
    Also I used an NVIDIA card that competed with the AIW and it was just as annoying in driver.
  • dnd728 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Among others.
    I don't agree it's such a niche product, they've sold quite a few – it's not like a combination of hardware.
    I agree that they had the best feature set, they just kept crashing my systems.
    I can't recall a single time that I left it to record a show unattended and it actually did.
  • dnd728 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    And btw, I did also try driver sweeper with no luck.
  • heflys - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Good question. I find it odd how all the ATI cards somehow failed every time, yet the Nvidia cards worked flawlessly. Yet, for my first ATI purchase in 8-9 years, the card works flawlessly. No driver issues what-so-ever. Lets say that I'm a little bit skeptical.
  • SilthDraeth - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    I would say that one reason would be you.

    I have used AMD cards exclusively for the last 10 years, and never had a single issue. I have also worked on peoples computers with NVIDIA and never had a single issue.

    I am not sure what you were doing, and it very well could have been a driver issue, or bad part, but being that most computer issues are user error, that is where I am going to place my money.
  • dnd728 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Then you'll loose your money. I'm in no way novice and installed tons of hardware with no issues. There's really no place for me to go wrong installing a graphics card in a brand new install of windows.
    Again, I call ATI to investigate. Be my guest.
  • heflys - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Can you elaborate on the errors that you encountered, which cards (exact model if possible) you owned; the manufacture of said card and your system specs? Thanks.

    I must say though, I'm not sure why you kept buying ATI if each one failed in some manner.
  • dnd728 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    That would be a lot to recall, search for old gear and receipts and detail just to look more reliable here. AMD also seem to have deleted my old ATI service account with nearly all correspondences. I will do it if I know it goes someplace useful.
    The errors varied with card, driver version, MMC version and windows version. Each card came with its own full long story. There's just too much to list from probably over a decade.
    PCs, Windows, cards were from all of that time range and from different manufacturers (except windows...). Cards by ATI, sapphire, hercules? oem by mic? (that's what the sticker here says) I was mostly bugged by bsods and other forms of crashes and freezes with all cards. One ended up dying, another deteriorated rapidly and if installed would probably die soon too. But there are many lesser bugs too. Change driver/Windows/MMC version and you get more/less crashes and some strange new bugs.

    I didn't buy them all one after the other. Time passed and I was thinking - it's working for other people, got nice reviews, it's a different card than what I previously had, a different card maker, a different PC, different Windows version, so why shouldn't it work? A couple I got preinstalled, without much choice. And with the first ATI card or two ...well I wasn't aware yet.
    Now I'm accused of giving them too much credit.
  • heflys - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Interesting......Seems you just have bad luck with ATI for some reason. I'd chalk it up to crappy side manufacturers. I think it's telling when companies like "Hercules GPU' " are no longer around. Also, at the time, ATI and 3dfx (now owned by Nvidia) were lending out their tech to every fool with the potential to manufacture cards. There were a number of crap products during those times, I wouldn't be surprised if you experienced some issues. What was your problem with the 5xxx series though?

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