The ECS Radeon GT 640 is certainly a budget graphics card, geared to consumers who want some light duty gaming or a standup HTPC card. It’s also a healthy option as a dedicated PhysX card for those who already have a monster card like a GTX 680 and want the extra eye candy in newer games like Borderlands 2, for example, without any performance hit. Further, it is designed to be frugal in terms of power consumption, not requiring a separate PCI-E connector and instead drawing power directly through the motherboard itself.
In terms of performance, the GT 640 goes up against the GTX 550 Ti and Radeon 7750, and matches up well for the most part, though it does fall just short in a most game titles. It’s important to remember, however, that the GT 640 is not a powerhouse gaming card by any stretch; it’s more suited to consumers on a tight budget, who may still want to do some light gaming at lower or medium resolutions. Gaming at 1680 resolution is really the top limit for this card in achieving playable framerates turned on in today’s popular games. And antialiasing is a possibility, though it does depend primarily on the game engine.
In terms of value, a Radeon 7750 can be found for the same price as this ECS GT 640, and the 7750 will outperform it for the most part. That’s a bit of a tough sell unless someone is an Nvidia fanboy. The temperatures are lower here, though the noise levels aren’t, so those two criteria cancel each other out.
It’s an interesting postition for Nvidia to hit in the marketplace, as this card isn’t nearly as robust as the other Kepler models we’ve seen from Nvidia. That’s not really the issue though; rather, the cooler is a bit too tall and noisy for a true HTPC setup, and the performance is a light too light duty for any gaming other than lower resolutions and image settings. The pricing is tricky because of the Radeon 7750 as well, putting pressure on this segment, which is competitive for those on a tight budget, not to mention OEM placements as well.
That said, the ECS GT 640 is a good card, though not without a few drawbacks and considerations, but can be an option for consumers on a very modest budget.
ECS GT 640