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Nvidia's new, tiny GT 710 could give old rigs new life as a home theater PC

Nvidia has launched a new affordable GT 710 video card that targets home theater PCs with its small size and passive cooling.

Capable of supporting up to three HD monitors and offering performance that Nvidia claims is 10 times the average on-board GPU, the GT 710 looks likely to be a very compact, but very capable card.

With a model number like that though, you can guess that this is a card that uses last-generation Kepler hardware. It sports 192 CUDA cores, with a GPU clocked at 954MHz (as per Hexus). Although unlikely to have you ready for virtual reality, this is a big upgrade from the last generation GT 610, with Nvidia claiming the GT 710 is as much as 70 percent faster in certain scenarios.

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While the architecture isn’t cutting edge, it does support a variety of standards the old GT 610 did not. The GT 710 can handle PureVideo, PhysX, FXAA, DX12 and can output resolutions up to 2,560 x 1,600 at 60Hz. If you drop it down to just 24Hz, the card can handle 4,096 x 2,160; higher than 4K resolution. Standard 4K resolution, which is 3,840 x 2,160, is output at 30Hz.

The video output figures are actually a bit disappointing, given that some of Intel’s IGPs can now output 4K video at 60Hz. However, because the IGP is baked into Intel processors, you’ll need a serious system upgrade (or total replacement) to enjoy its benefits. If you have an old rig, however, an add-in card like this might still be a worthwhile.

Various graphics card partners have all announced a number of different iterations of this card. MSI itself is bringing out nine separate configurations, but the base set up will see the GT 710 sporting 2GB of DDR3, with a 64bit memory-interface. Connectivity wise it supports DVI-D, HDMI and VGA.

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There will also be several versions with different cooling options; most passive, but some active.

Although no pricing or availability details for the U.S. have yet been announced, U.K. pricing pegs the GT 710 at £30. While that translates directly to $43, we expect it to be a little less by the time it reaches North American shores.