While NVIDIA have been hard at work promoting their two new top-end graphics cards, their new GT 1030 has seemingly flown under the radar. However, this super affordable card is great news for those users who need an entry-level GPU for work or casual gaming and would rather not have to break the bank. You might have noticed the missing “X” from the cards name, however, this is not a typo at all. The GT 1030 is not part of the GTX range and is instead part of the GT range, which hasn’t seen a new release since the 700 series.
The Raw NVIDIA Specs
NVIDIA seem to have taken the threat of the newly released ATI Radeon RX 550 seriously and this might be why they have suddenly released the GT 1030 to follow up on the aging GT 730 graphics card. Though the GT 1030 is seriously an entry-level card, it’s not VR ready, it doesn’t support G-SYNC and there is no SLI support whatsoever. You pretty much get what you pay for, and at around $75 you don’t get much when it comes to gaming performance, however, the new GT 1030 does run the Pascal-based architecture that we have come to know and love in the rest of the 10 series lineup. While the GTX 1050 offers 640 NVIDIA CUDA Cores, the new GT 1030 only offers 384 CUDA Cores. The same goes for the Memory Interface, while the GTX 1050 offers 128-bit, the new GT 1030 only offers 64-bit. The Memory Bandwidth Width is also far lower at 48GB/sec versus the 112 GB/sec of the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. However, for some reason the GT 1030 does offer a higher Boost Clock Speed compared to the GTX 1050. Though this doesn’t mean that it will perform on the same level as the entry-level GTX 1050 which has become a bestseller in the budget market. It must be noted that this is the Boost Clock Speed directly from NVIDIA and it will differ slightly from model to model and from brand to brand.
So Who Is This Card For?
If you are looking at playing Battlefield 1 or even GTA V on the highest settings, then you will be sorely disappointed with the GT 1030. However, if you need a basic graphics card for your work station and want to watch 4K videos, then this card might be right for you. It also requires far less power than the GTX range and will easily run off of a 300 Watt power supply. This is great news as many entry-level desktop computers ship with 400 Watt or lower power supplies. Another added benefit is the fact that that it offers multi-monitor support.
Is It Right For Hardcore Gaming?
Well the short answer is, not really. It is more than capable of running popular e-sports titles such as Counter Strike: Go, World of Warcraft and League of Legends. However, this is pretty much where it draws the line as it is not a top tier card. Sure, you will be able to run more demanding titles on the lowest of settings, but this is not what most gamers are after when they purchase a brand new game. It will also struggle to offer high and stable frame rates for these AAA gaming titles. This means that the GT 1030 is far less future-proof. To be honest, you are far better off spending the extra money on a GTX 1050. You can currently pick up a ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 for $97.99 from Amazon, and while this is not a top performing card, it will still outperform the GT 1030 for the small price bump.
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 is great news for those with tighter budgets and the fact that it will run in systems with lower wattage power supplies is an added bonus. While it won’t blow your hair back when it comes to graphics performance, it also doesn’t promise to do so. It is an entry-level card that is designed for multi-monitor setups and running more demanding applications with the spot of casual gaming. If you are in the market for an affordable gaming PC then head over to our Best Budget Prebuilt Gaming Desktops Under $500 guide where you might find your next rig. Alternatively, if you have a tighter budget then head over to our Best Budget Desktop Computers guide for more affordable solutions for non-gamers. However, if you intend on purchasing the GT 1030 for a budget friendly computer, please make sure that it has a PCIe 16x slot before purchasing this card.