Meet the GTS 450

The reference GTS 450 takes a number of cues from the GTX 460, and without labeling on the card it’s actually quite easy to confuse with its bigger sibling. Top-side it uses the same concave shroud and partially-raised fan setup at the GTX 460, and only when you remove these cooling components do you find a simpler circular all-aluminum heatsink between the fan and the GF106 GPU.

Top: GTX 460. Bottom: GTS 450

Since this uses the same cooler design as the GTX 460, it has the same properties: it’s not a fully-exhausting design. The cooler on the reference GTS 450 exhausts towards both the front and the rear of the case, so some degree of case cooling is important. At only 106W TDP this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but there needs to be some airflow within the case.

Meanwhile the PCB and resulting card measure 8.25” long, the same as the GTX 460. This coincidentally is the same length as the reference Radeon HD 5770. The PCB houses pads for 12 GDDR5 memory chips with 6 pads on each the front and back, highlighting the fact that this card isn’t using a full GF106 GPU. With only a 106W TDP, only a single 6-pin PCIe power socket is required to power the card. As with the GTX 460, this socket is rear-facing.

The PCB itself is fairly unremarkable. As is the case with cheaper cards the components are a bit cheaper – you can see a ring-choke near the PCIe power socket. With the card’s fairly low TDP the MOSFETs serving as part of the VRM setup do not require any cooling with the breeze from the fan being enough to cool them at default voltages. The card comes equipped with 8 Samsung GDDR5 memory chips, rated for 4GHz operation. This means there’s a bit of headroom for RAM overclocking if the memory controller is willing to cooperate.

GTS 450 Reference Design PCB (EVGA)

The port configuration remains unchanged from the rest of the 400 series: 2 DVI ports and a mini-HDMI port. The GF106 GPU can only drive 2 displays just like the rest of the Fermi family, so for output options pick any 2 ports. Like the rest of the 400 series, the GTS 400 series is also surround vision capable, so if you have a second card you can SLI them together to gain an additional display output for triple-monitor usage. As this is a lower-end product 3D Vision Surround is not supported due to the lack of performance, but NVIDIA Surround (2D) is supported.

Finally, as was the case with the GTX 460 launch, a number of partners will be launching their own designs today, which we are covering in our companion article that focuses on them. All of these cards are using the NVIDIA reference design or what appears to be a minor variation of it; the big difference on the hardware side of things is the cooler used and bracing methods.

NVIDIA’s GeForce GTS 450: Pushing Fermi in to the Mainstream Forceware 260 & Bitstreaming Audio
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  • lecaf - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Oh my wrong I missed the SLI part

  • mino - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    That "SLI" detail ... :)
  • jabber - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Buy a 5770 and OC it to 900/1300 like most should out of the box.

  • Quidam67 - Saturday, September 18, 2010 - link

    Agreed. The article repeatedly pointed out that an overclocked 450 catches up to a 5770, but never mentions that the 5770 generally overclocks very well so is likely to take back the lead anyway.
  • Zokudu - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    But it goes without saying that modern video drivers from both AMD and NVIDIA ridiculously huge, and this new installer doesn’t do anything to change that.

    I think your missing an are there. Otherwise wonderful article guys.
  • Lonyo - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Well, that whole bit isn't entirely accurate anyway. The NV drivers are more than 2x the size of AMD drivers, and AMD drivers aren't that much bigger than the drivers for more "mundane" things like ever printers and sound cards.

    Either way it's not entirely relevant at all.
  • iwodo - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Well Nv Drivers includes a lot more then ATI, otherwise they are about the same.

    But would Anandtech go on to find out just why Drivers Size is so huge. I have the feeling if the drivers were specifically written for one generation of graphics card it would save huge amount of space.
  • Taft12 - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    I agree that there is probably a ton of code in there to support cards all the way back to 6xxx but also that this would lead to a support nightmare for users that don't know what model is in their PC.

    Too bad, but it's the nature of the industry and graphics tech is the fastest moving of them all.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Actually we did something a bit like that early last year for the NV drivers.

    At the time the PhysX package was around 40% of the required space.

    On modern drivers the languages have a lot to do with it. The NV International drivers are a good 30MB bigger than the English-only drivers.
  • heflys - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    This card is such a disappointment. It performs worse than the year old card 5770, and only surpasses it when overclocked; it's also about the same price. Furthermore, in some reviews, the 5770 even beats it in Crossfire vs SLI comparison! To add further insult to injury, AMD is about to launch new cards shortly!

    This card has to be priced at $110-120 to be competitive in my book.

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