NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 review

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When it comes to PC building, consumers have always had a big demand for lower cost GPUs. In response, NVIDIA and AMD keep a steady stream of absolute budget GPUs releasing at all times, meaning that if there’s ever a time PC builder needs an extremely cheap GPU, they have an option available. This is the thought process that went into the making of the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720.

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 was a budget GPU, released back in 2014. As we’ve implied, the GPU was mainly intended to be used as a cheap option for builds that needed to cut costs on GPUs. It picked up quite a decent amount of popularity thanks to this, and it’s no surprise as to why. While it certainly did have an almost dirt cheap price of just $49, it also carried a fair amount of power with it.

Many of these budget GPUs would have middling specs or not very powerful performance, but the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 had a different philosophy in mind. It’s not the best GPU, but for the price, it managed to play all latest games that released without too much issue. Of course, you’d need to really tone down your graphic settings, but it was still achievable with satisfactory performance.

Of course, that was the case many years ago, the question now is whether it still holds up today? Taking all the technological advancements in modern gaming, can the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 still manage to get some decent performance? Or is it perhaps just a bit too much for the meager GPU to handle? We’ll find out in our full review.

Specifications of the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720

Originally launched on September 29th, 2014, the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 was a budget offering from the company. Built on the 28 nm process, and based on the GK208B graphics processor, it was designed specially to fit into the super budget GPU market. On the inside, the GK208B graphics processor is a relatively small chip with a die area of only 87 mm² and 1,020 million transistors.

The NVIDIA GeForce GT720 features 192 shading units, 16 texture mapping units, and 8 ROPs. NVIDIA has paired 1,024 MB DDR3 memory with the GeForce GT 720, which are connected using a 64-bit memory interface. The GPU is operating at a frequency of 797 MHz, memory is running at 800 MHz. So far, it’s all decent stuff, especially for a budget GPU from 2014.

Display outputs include: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI 1.4a, 1x VGA. GeForce GT 720 is connected to the rest of the system using a PCI-Express 2.0 x8 interface. It has 19w of power draw, and as a single slot graphics card, it doesn’t need to have an external power source of any kind to work. The card measures 145 mm in length, and features a single-slot cooling solution, as is expected of such a cheap GPU.

Performance of the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720

So, it’s cheap and cheerful, but what’s the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720’s performance actually like in 2022? Well, it’s about as good as you’d expect, which is to say it can’t really handle many games at higher resolutions. Even back in the day, the GPU wasn’t exactly stellar at playing the latest games, and that’s only been exacerbated by the sheer power required by newer games.

However, at lower resolutions it actually manages to squeeze out some pretty decent numbers. For simpler indie games, it also performs perfectly fine. It may need some settings tweaks in order to get said numbers, but it still manages to attain and maintain them pretty consistently. We’re almost surprised that it managed to accomplish all this despite its obvious lack of power.

Don’t get it twisted however, the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 isn’t a budget beast or anything. It’s very much just a cheap GPU that’s become even more ridiculously cheap with time. It can handle some games at low settings, but you’re getting better performance out of even the cheapest modern day GPUs. For most though, that’s perfectly fine.

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 works great at being a throwaway GPU you can use for a secondary system. It also makes for a good spare GPU in the case anything ever happens to your main one. It’s so cheap in fact that you could argue many good use cases for the budget GPU. Whatever you may plan to use it for, do keep in mind that it’s not going to blow any minds with its performance.

NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 alternatives

Because of how low its pricing is, the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 doesn’t really have any legitimate alternatives. Your other options compared to it are essentially any GPU you can find that supersedes the GT 720’s pricing. The problem is, once you start getting to these really low prices, it’s hard to find anything that performs as consistently as the GeForce GT 720.

That is of course, and we stress this once again, only because you will not find another GPU that’s decent at the GT 720’s price point. It’s simply too affordable to even consider having alternatives to. Thus, if your budget somehow only allows you to purchase an NVIDIA GT 720, then you’re stuck with it. We don’t recommend it in 2022, but if it’s your only option then you could do much worse.

Conclusion about the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720

While the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 certainly occupies a niche, it’s hard to recommend it to most people. It may be incredibly affordable these days, but you can’t really get around how poorly it performs in most modern circumstances. It can’t really handle any of the newer games releasing on the market, ad it struggles if you don’t play games at resolutions below 1280×720.

On the other hand, while it may not work well as a main GPU, as a secondary or back-up, it’s solid. As long as it’s compatible with your system, you’ll find a fairly decent workhorse in the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720. Just keep your expectations fairly low, and it’ll be fine. Otherwise though, we’d recommend just saving up for a better GPU if you can, the performance boost is immense.

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