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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Ryan Smith - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    If I had my way, we'd have every card known to man on our charts. But if I had my way, days would be 50 hours long to accommodate all of that testing...

    In any case not having a GTS 250 is not an oversight on our part - we simply do not have a GTS 250 to test with.
  • Stuka87 - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    So it seems to me like the 450 is trying to match performance with the now year old 5770. I really think nVidia should have one upped the competition, like they did with the 460 release.

    I just can't see this card getting the life that nVidia needs to get out of it. AMD will do a refresh long before nVidia does, which will ultimately mean the 450 will have a very short life in comparison to the 5770.
  • HangFire - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    This comment is right on the mark, and part of a disturbing trend I see with new video card generations in general and Nvidia in particular. With each new generation we are getting the same performance, more or less, at the same price points, the only difference is a newer Direct X level, lower power, or less noise, or a new video connector, etc.

    If all you care about is getting a certain FPS in a few games on one monitor with a certain level of AA and eye candy, the older generation cards would often be a better choice, if they were only available. Unlike in previous generations, which seemed to stay in production forever even when obsolete, the best values either go away (like the 4770 or GTX 275), get recycled at the same or higher price point (8800/9800), or get replaced by similar performance at that price point (GTS 450 vs 250).

    The end result is that for a give price point, you are not buying any more Frames per Second then you were 2 years ago- unless you paid too much and made a really bad choice 2 years ago.

    While at first I was thrilled to see so many older cards in this review, the GTS 250 is conspicuously absent, perhaps because it is rather embarrassing to see what little new the 450 has to offer in terms of price/performance. The 450 is not yet on Bench either, though I hope that will be remedied soon.

    So, congratulations Nvidia, you now have a more complete DirectX 11 lineup, but you've offered me nothing in price/performance to make me want to replace any of my DirectX 10 cards.
  • just4U - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    I disagree. Annand put up numbers for the 4850 which has always pretty much walked allover the GTX250 (9800GTX 8800GTX etc) Looking at the graphs the 450 is somewhat faster so including the 250 benchmarks is not neccessary.

    Also, Both Ati and Nvidia seem to be in a holding pattern as far as performance goes with their current lineups. People upgrading from the latest and greatest from the last generation of video cards won't notice huge gains performance wise. What they will notice (depending on the card) is lower temperatures, less power consumption, and ofcourse more features.

    Those upgrading from cards 2+ years old or value oriented cards from the last generation are likely to see the most gains overall with these new ones. The rest of us get a sideways upgrade at best. Atleast thats my opinion anyway.
  • geniekid - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    I must also disagree, respectfully. A couple of the benchmarks here show that for less than half the price I paid for my top-of-the-line factory OCed 9800GTX several years ago, I can get about the same or slightly better performance. This shows me that progress is being made - or, at the very least, that price/performance is improving over time.
  • HangFire - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Wow, thanks for the respect in the disagreement! But then, this is AT not Tom's.

    Speaking of Tom's, I just read their GTS450 review, and their statement after the DX9-10 benchmarks (CoD:MW2 and Crysis) mirrors mine vis-a-vis the GTS 250- "Naturally, numbers like this don’t compel you to upgrade." While another site quoted 20-25% better performance, Tom's had the 250 faster than the 450.

    I would expect a three generation old top-of-the-line card to have poor value compared to a mainstream card of today. (I say three because a 9800 GTX OC is essentially an 8800 Ultra). Nvidia complicates the issue with generational recycling and the missing GTX 3xx DirectX 10.1 cards that never existed. I'm trying to compare like-to-like, that is mainstream cards in the $140 to $150 range (price at introduction).

    If you look at the incremental performance differences of the mid-stream cards 8800GT->9800GT->GTS 250->GTS 450, anyone that actually bought each of these cards for $130->$150 expecting a big generational performance boost with each jump was sorely disappointed. On the AMD side things are a little better, but the mainstream level 4xxx to 5xxx jump was more about power and Eyefinity than performance. (Of course their top-end cards made big jumps, at big $$$).

    The new GTS 450 is launched at the same price point the GTS 250 had, and offers very similar performance. Of course, the 250 dropped in price like a stone, because it had to, and the 450 may have some adjustments ahead of it. But let's say it was 25% faster across the board, is it compelling? The 7800GT to 8800GT upgrade, now that was compelling.
  • just4U - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    You have to remember something though.. the 8800 line was a new standard by which all cards are/were measured by. Like the Radeon 9700/800 it takes years to move past it... We do not see those crazy bumps in performance and features happen often afterall.
  • IceDread - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    "The GTX 460 was a card that made the comparable AMD card obsolete and brought significantly improved performance to the $200 market. NVIDIA had a card built to hit one of AMD’s weak spots, and it struck beautifully. "

    A news site should strive towards being unbiased but anandtech sure does not do that.
  • just4U - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Have you had the oportunity to use the 460? Or the 5830/50 that it competes against? Anandtech hit the nail on the head with that statement and it's not based upon Ati/Nvidia bias. Simply put it's one of the best buys on the market right now and with all of Nvidia's misteps it's surprising to see them come out with a card that is so hard to pick fault with.
  • heflys - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Yeah, the GTX 460 1gb made the 5830 obsolete, but the 768mb version sure didn't. And the 5850 has started to come down in price, and you can now pick it up for $259 after rebate.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now