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Asus Bravo 220 review – media card

We know the Geforce GT220 isn’t a ‘performance’ card, it is a low power product designed for people on a budget and that makes it generally ideal for a media center. The Asus Bravo 220 however has received some PCB tweaks and runs with 21% less power than the reference design. The Asus board is also fanless, which means it produces no noise (0dB) and will be ideal for noise sensitive freaks.

The card is tiny, and is covered in a black heatsink with an overlapping green ‘shroud’, which actually isnt there just for appearance, as it enhances the cooling properties across the length of the fins.

Even considering the relative low power demands the heatsink needs to be capable of maintaining reasonably good temperatures under extended load. The card does not require any PCI Express power connectors, it gets enough power direct from the slot.

The more astute among you will notice the fins are angled as they come to the end of the card PCB, this is to aid with heat dispersal.

Shaped like a tree intentionally for the ‘green‘ connotations? We think so.

Memory specifications are as follows.

  • Power Supply: VDD, VDDQ = 1.8 V ± 0.1 V
  • Double Data Rate architecture: two data transfers per clock cycle
  • CAS Latency: 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
  • Burst Length: 4 and 8
  • Bi-directional, differential data strobes (DQS and /DQS ) are transmitted / received with data
  • Edge-aligned with Read data and center-aligned with Write data
  • DLL aligns DQ and DQS transitions with clock
  • Differential clock inputs (CLK and /CLK)
  • Data masks (DM) for write data
  • Commands entered on each positive CLK edge, data and data mask are referenced to both edges of /DQS
  • Posted /CAS programmable additive latency supported to make command and data bus efficiency
  • Read Latency = Additive Latency plus CAS Latency (RL = AL + CL)
  • Off-Chip-Driver impedance adjustment (OCD) and On-Die-Termination (ODT) for better signal quality
  • Auto-precharge operation for read and write bursts
  • Auto Refresh and Self Refresh modes
  • Precharged Power Down and Active Power Down
  • Write Data Mask
  • Write Latency = Read Latency – 1 (WL = RL – 1)
  • Interface: SSTL_18

The card specifications are as follows:

As we can see the card is running at 500mhz core which is 120mhz lower than the reference design. It operates on a 128 bit bus and this model has 1GB of DDR2 memory on board. Memory bandwidth at 800mhz is 12.8gb/s, which is lower than the nVidia design of 25.3gb/s at reference speeds of 1360mhz. This is going to be no gaming beast and is clearly designed just for the media PC environment.

A top down overview of the card. It has a single DVI I connector as well as HDMI and D-Sub. They do not support SLI configurations and have no connector for S/PDIF.

Next, lets take a look at the ASUS Bravo Media software because it is one of the primary selling points of the card.

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