If your wallet is a bit skimpy on dough and you are currently in dire need of a graphics card that can run basic applications and play the usual games, then look no further than the GT 730. Though definitely not as pronounced as its high-tier brothers, the GT 730’s lack of punching power is overshadowed by its very tempting price.
Luckily, ASUS sent us a sample of their offering of the GT 730, a 2GB GDDR3 card sporting a passive cooling solution. Will it be able to run the latest games? Or will it just wither and die like an old dinosaur? See for yourselves in the review below.
Unboxing and Looks
As expected from a budget-friendly card, the ASUS GT730 is minute, short, and inconspicuous. It is a simple and basic graphics card for everyone and it shows in the overall appearance. It offers three outputs: VGA, HDMI, and DVI-D.
The flared fin heat sink configuration act as the passive and silent cooling solution, while also generous in inflicting unwarranted injuries during installation. Do take special care of your hands if you wish to plug this in a very limitedly spaced chassis.
We had to assume that it’s safe to disregard the usual benchmarks such as the 3DMark and Heaven since we’re not gunning for records and crunching numbers. We did however, utilize frame rates in two widely known games and two more for demanding current gen games.
|Shadow of Mordor||11||14||Low||1920×1080|
|League of Legends||36||70||High||1920×1080|
|DotA 2||27||32||Render Quality at 70%, No Anti-Aliasing, Medium Shadow and Texture Quality||1920×1080|
We started the performance benchmark with the high-end games. Shadow of Mordor proved to be too taxing to the GT730 and is barely playable. Battlefield 4 showed leniency in the numbers once the resolution was toned down. For League of Legends, the FPS was acceptable given that the game is optimized for low-tier systems. On the otherhand, running DotA 2 at 1080p was a nightmare. We had to tweak a number of features, scaling down on the power-hogging details to get a rate that often times dip by two to five frames.
You might be asking yourselves as to why we did three of the tests in 1080p. Primarily, it is for us to show the extent of what the card can provide at the baseline resolution. Performance definitely improves at lower resolutions. Secondly, 720p hurts our eyes.
For reference, the above photo shows the values given off by the card during heavy load (Battlefield 4). The temperature remains at a stable 73.0 C and shows how effective the passive 0dB solution is.
The ASUS GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK, although not as impressive as its top-of-the-line brothers, is a card that’s enough for basic tasks and games. As expected, the applications it can run are limited but is adequate for an average user. The passive cooling solution makes it perfect for those particular with background noise and dust-hungry fans.
The whole ASUS package comes with the ASUS GPU Tweak and streaming program, and two low-profile brackets. The ASUS GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK is priced at PhP 2,640.