The EVGA GT 710 is an inexpensive way to add up to three display outputs to your PC, along with Nvidia’s driver support and enhanced features. It’s completely silent and compatible with almost all PC hardware, but just don’t buy it for gaming purposes.
Available for around £30, graphics cards based on Nvidia’s GT 710 GPU are some of the least expensive graphics cards around, but should you consider buying one? Here’s our EVGA GeForce GT 710 review.
Advances in integrated graphics performance have all but destroyed the market for such low-end graphics cards in new PCs. Modern CPUs from Intel, and even more so those from AMD, come with built in graphics capabilities which are more than adequate for most non-gaming purposes.
The GeForce GT 710 specification is most certainly that of an entry-level product. With 192 CUDA cores and just 1GB of DDR3 memory, connected via a 64-bit bus, it’s clear that this card isn’t designed for high performance. It may be considerably faster than many of Intel’s existing integrated graphics solutions, it’s still best purchased for its features rather than its speed.
You can buy the EVGA GeForce GT 710 from Scan.co.uk for £29.65.
EVGA GeForce GT 710 review: Features
The EVGA GT 710 gives you one each of VGA, HDMI and DVI-D outputs and, if you have the right peripherals, you’ll be able to display 3D content on supported TVs and displays with billions of colours and support for 7.1 surround sound. The card can output on all three ports simultaneously for multi-monitor setups, although sadly there’s no DisplayPort available. Resolutions at 60Hz max out at 2560×1600 for digital outputs and 2048×1536 via the VGA adapter, but you can setup up to 3840×2160 or even 4096×2160 over HDMI if you drop the refresh rate to 30Hz and 24Hz respectively. (You won’t want to do that – it’s possible but not recommended.)
Thanks to its passively cooled, fanless design, the runs completely silently and the absence of moving parts will increase long-term reliability over and above fan-based coolers which will can fill with dust and seize up over time.
One of the key advantages of this particular card, other than the price, is ability to fit in just about any PC.
Measuring only 68.8 by 114.3mm, the EVGA GeForce GT 710 is relatively tiny, and comes with full height and half height brackets in the box, making it suitable for the vast majority of PC form factors, although the thickness of the passive heat sink means it’ll take up two PCI Express slots.
Thankfully, EVGA makes six slightly different versions of this card, so if you need a single slot solution, you can opt for one with a fan-based cooler instead. You can also opt for a 2GB version of a fixed full-height board.
The card has very low power requirements too. You can get away with a 300W power supply and no special PSU connectors are required to connect the card.
EVGA GeForce GT 710 review: Performance
Nvidia claims the GeForce GT710 has “up to 10x better performance than integrated graphics”, but don’t buy it for that reason as it’s really not a sensible performance upgrade for gaming. When it comes to frame per second, you’d most likely find you’ve transformed your PC from “Don’t even think about it” to “Nope, still really not fast enough”.
Let’s keep things in perspective here. The GT 710 costs less to buy than a single top-tier game, so if you can afford to buy games, you really should be able to budget for a faster card than this.
However, if you’re really determined, and your expectations are low, you can get some less demanding titles to run faster than a slide show. Crank the quality settings all the way down as low as possible, stick to 720p resolution and some titles do become playable – even recent releases.
DiRT Rally, for example, averaged 76.5fps at 720p in Ultra Low settings in our tests. You can certainly play the game with perfectly smooth graphics using the GeForce GT 710, but it’s far from pretty and you’re unlikely to be happy with the low-quality version of the game these settings deliver.
Bumping up the quality just a single notch from Ultra Low to Low roughly halves the performance and isn’t really worth it. Running at 1080p with Ultra Low settings is another option, with average frame rates of 44.9fps, but with a minimum frame rate of 32.9 fps, it’s much less smooth than at 720p where it rarely dips below 60fps.
With other games you may not be so lucky. It’s often the case that the quality setting simply won’t go low enough to allow playable graphics. On the other hand, some games let you run in really low resolutions like 800×600, in which case you may be in with a chance. It would be unfair and essentially pointless to run our usual suite of gaming tests on this card, so we’ve decided not to.
EVGA GeForce GT 710 review: Who should buy one
With gaming effectively ruled out, there are still valid reasons to buy a card at this level of performance, and the EVGA GT 710 is a rather good option under those circumstances.
If you’re building or repurposing a PC as a home media center, adding a GT 710 will ensure compatibility with the latest displays and, because it’s passively cooled, there’s no fan to generate any noise while you’re watching video or listening to music. This makes it an ideal card to use in a home theatre PC or home server. It will also give you accelerated video playback and can handle 3D Blu-ray content.
With its three decent video outputs, plus all the other good stuff Nvidia gives you in terms of software and driver support, including the GeForce Experience software, the EVGA GeForce GT 710 is an inexpensive and widely compatible way to add an additional monitors to a PC which doesn’t currently have enough video outputs. This will often be the case if you have a system using one of Intel’s high-end CPUs which doesn’t come with integrated graphics at all, such as the Core i7-5960X we use in our test system, or many of the Xeon range.
Even a budget card like the GT 710 will also give you some GPU acceleration in applications such as Adobe Photoshop which support Nvidia’s CUDA technology.
Because the price is so low, this also a the ideal type of graphics card to keep around if you often find yourself fixing PCs or diagnosing hardware problems. It costs far less than a gaming card and yet it will work with all the latest operating systems and very low-spec PC hardware, so you can install it easily to test motherboards or PCs where the graphics have inexplicably stopped working.
EVGA GeForce GT 710: Specs
- Nvidia GT 710
- Core clock: 954 MHz
- Memory clock: 1800MHz effective
- Memory bus width: 64-bit
- CUDA cores: 192
- ROPs: 4
- APIs: DirectX 12 (feature level 11), OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL, CUDA, Nvidia 3D Vision, PhysX
- Memory type and capacity DDR3 1GB
- Passive cooler
- No power connectors
- PCIe 2.0
- Ports: 1x VGA, 1x Dual-link DVI-D, 1x HDMI 1.4a
- Simultaneous outputs: 3
- Card width: 2 slot
- Dimensions: 68.8×114.3mm
- Software: None
- Accessories: Full height and half height brackets
- Warranty: 3 years