Nvidia has officially launched the GeForce GT 740 low-end graphics card, offering game-capable performance at a sub-£80 price point with a variety of board partners getting in on the act.
The GeForce GT 740 is priced below £80 for most models, offers memory choices from 1GB to 4GB and comes with the vague promise of a four-fold performance boost over integrated graphics.
Sitting at the very opposite end of the market from the recently-launched GeForce GTX Titan Z, the GeForce GT 740 offers a GK107 Kepler graphics processor with 384 CUDA cores running at a base clock of 993MHz. Depending on board partner and model chosen, GDDR5 or DDR3 memory is available: the latter offers 28.8GB/s bandwidth on a 1.8Gb/s memory clock, while the former boasts 80GB/s of bandwidth on a 5GB/s memory clock. Both use a 128-bit memory bus.
Although short in length, barely protruding beyond the PCI Express slot into which they sit, the boards on offer at present are largely dual-slot designs with the occasional single-slot variant on show. Nvidia's reference design features a central cooler over the GPU which leaves the remainder of the board bare, although most board partners have instead opted for a shrouded design to show off their branding and improve cooling performance.
Nvidia is positioning the cards as an upgrade from integrated graphics, claiming a rather vague four-fold increase in gaming performance yet somehow failing to detail exactly which integrated graphics solution is being used for comparison. Performance claims aside, the most interesting aspect of the launch is the variability: GT 740 cards are available in models ranging from an entry-level 1GB version right up to a relatively high-end 4GB GDDR5 model with factory overclock.
Prices vary considerably depending on manufacturer, specification and retailer: at present, the cheapest we've found is a 1GB GDDR5 model from Gainward at Scan for £60.10 including VAT. Pricing for the 4GB editions has not yet been confirmed.