The Nvidia GT 1030 is garnering a lot of attention lately, which comes as somewhat of a surprise given the poor state of this particular GPU market. I’ve taken a look at this GPU to explore whether it’s still a viable option in 2021.
The specific model I’ve taken a look at is the Nvidia GT 1030 GDDR5, released back in May 2017. It’s important to make this distinction against the much lower-performing GDDR4 model released later, which truly stirred up the community. To boil it down to its simplest level, anything positive you might hear about the GT 1030 most likely refers to the GDDR5 model, and anything negative most likely refers to the GDDR4.
Related: Best Graphics Cards under $200
To start off, let’s talk about pricing. The GT 1030 first launched with a price point of $70, which has since doubled. You’d be hard pushed to find this GPU brand new for anything below $130. That being said, the GT 1030 is much better stocked than many other GPUs on the market, likely owing to its lower power. Over on eBay, the latest completed auctions for used condition models averaged a sale price of around $115.
Next up are the power requirements. The GDDR5 model has a TDP of 30W, compared to 20W for the GDDR4. It doesn’t require an external PSU connector, which means you can pretty much run this on any PC with a motherboard.
The specific model I’ve covered looking is the MSI GT 1030 GDDR5, which has a base clock speed of 1265 MHz and a boosted clock speed of 1518 MHz. This model has a total of 384 CUDA cores, and 2GB of VRAM. As far as CPU pairings are concerned, I wouldn’t recommend pairing this GPU with anything other than an incredibly low-budget build. Even then, I would only recommend it if you can find a good deal on the model.
To benchmark the GT 1030, I tested it with 14 of the most current and relevant games. The testing rig is fitted with a Ryzen 5 3600, with 16GB of OLOy RAM, a clock speed of 3,000MHz and an ASRock B550 Razer Taichi motherboard. All of this is powered by a Corsair RMX750 White power supply, with all of the games installed on a 2TB Inland Professional NVMe SSD. You will find our results in the table below.
|Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War||720p||Low||55|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||720p||Low||28|
|Borderlands 3||720p||Very Low||59|
|Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege||1080p||Low||86|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||720p||Low||29|
|Far Cry 5||720p||Low||51|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||1080p||Pro||147|
3DMark Time Spy, which is a consistent benchmark for comparing a broad range of GPUs, gives the GT 1030 a rather disappointing score of 1,110.
As you can see, the Nvidia GT 1030 isn’t all that powerful. Given its high price point, I would only recommend this GPU for very low-budget builds, and even then only if you can find it at a reasonable price.