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REVIEW / Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 1 GB

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Régis Jehl Published on October 6, 2010
Updated on October 6, 2010
Translated by Catherine Barraclough
 
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SPECIFICATIONS

  • Chip GF106
  • GPU frequency 783 MHz
  • Memory quantity 1 GB
  • Memory type GDDR5
  • Memory frequency 902 MHz
  • Cooler Double-decker
With the GeForce GTS 450, NVIDIA is storming its way into the very interesting market for mid-range graphics cards with a direct competitor for the Radeon HD 5700 from AMD. Does NVIDIA's card have what it takes to give AMD a run for its money? Let's find out!

Size, Noise and Heat

The GTS 450 is almost identical in size to the GeForce GTX 460 (20.5 cm) and only requires one PCI-Express power connection. That's pretty good too. Plus, given its size, the card can be easily fitted in to the vast majority of computer casings.

The integrated cooling system has a double-decker design. The fan is quite big but doesn't entirely expel hot air from the casing. However, that won't really be a problem as this model doesn't get all that hot: we measured 71°C with video games.

One of the most interesting features of this graphics card is how little noise it makes when in operation. We didn't hear any real difference between using it in 3D games and in 2D mode.

We measured just 36.8 db(A) in 3D, which makes this card very quiet indeed. In fact, it's one of the best in the field.

Energy Consumption

Just like the GTX 460, the GeForce GTS 450 is very energy efficient. In its resting state, our machine only showed a consumption of 85 W. In games, that went up to 274 W.

However, that's still some way off the 230 W seen in its main competitor from AMD, the Radeon HD 5770.

Gaming Performance

Using our graphics card performance index tables, we can see that this new NVIDIA card falls right between the AMD Radeon HD 5750 and HD 5770. The results place it closer to the 5770 than the 5750.

In practice, that means that this graphics card is recommended for screens with a fairly average resolution (1680 x 1050 max.). In such conditions, graphics effects can be activated to their maximum settings in most of the latest 3D releases. You'll only have to turn down the graphics in a handful of titles.
Average general performances.
Click on the graph to view all our results
and compare them with other GPUs.

More detailed information on the results we obtained with the nine games tested can be found in our graphics card face-off. Here, you'll be able to compare the GeForce GTS 450 to the Radeon HD 5770 or the Radeon HD 5750.
The Card We Tested
We tested the PNY GeForce GTS 450. It has a classic design that's very close to the NVIDIA standard design. The fan is therefore very quiet and has a double-decker design.

Connections at the rear consist of two DVI outputs and one mini-HDMI 1.4 output. It also came supplied with a mini-HDMI-to-HDMI adapter, a power adapter, a CD of drivers and a quick-start guide. Nothing special there then.

The Advantages of NVIDIA

One of the advantages of NVIDIA cards is obviously their compatibility with the firm's various technologies. First of all, there's NVIDIA 3D Vision for three-dimensional gaming, but this does require a 3D-compatible monitor, as well as the 3D Vision pack including the obligatory glasses.

Then, there's support for PhysX, which allows you to bring more elaborate graphic effects to a selection of compatible games.

However, these kinds of technology are more at ease when used with cards higher up in the product range. In this model, activating the 3D mode makes games glitch and jump. You therefore have to reduce graphic detail to keep things looking smooth.

Finally, NVIDIA also boasts the ability to speed up GPU-based processing in certain software programs. Most home users rarely use this type of application, however, and this function is aimed at professionals using software for 3D imaging, photo editing etc.

PROS

  • Very quiet
  • Compatible with DirectX 11
  • Fairly low power consumption in 2D and not too high in 3D
  • Compatible with CUDA, PhysX, 3D Vision

CONS

  • Limited 3D performances: you may have to reduce graphic detail or choose a more powerful card

CONCLUSION 3/5

This is a good mid-range NVIDIA graphics card. It does a decent job in all fields: games, energy consumption, noise and functions. But with a new generation of AMD cards just around the corner, the GTS 450 could prove to be too little too late.
3 Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 1 GB DigitalVersus 2010-10-06 00:00:00
Compare: Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 1 GB to its competitors
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