The Test

For today’s launch, we’re looking at the NVIDIA reference card along with samples from Asus, Palit, EVGA, and Sparkle (under their Calibre brand). For the sake of brevity we’ve split off our in-depth look at those cards in to a companion article, but we’re still including them in the charts for this GTS 450 review. 3 of these cards are overclocked to around 920MHz, so this provides a good idea of where the performance of top overclocked cards will lie.

Since NVIDIA gave us a pair of reference cards, we’re also looking a SLI performance. As GTS 450 is a mainstream card we consider buying a larger card to be a better solution than SLIing lesser cards (unless you need surround vision, at least) but this is something to consider if you have an SLI-capable motherboard and may add a second card in the future.

We’ve also added a 9800 GTX to the mix to showcase G92 performance, as we don’t have a GTS 250 available. It shouldn’t be used as a proxy as GTS 250 cards are clocked higher and most have additional RAM, but it offers a glimpse of where GTS 450 stands compared to G92 based cards.

Finally, we’re using the latest AMD Catalyst drivers for our Radeon HD 5700 series benchmarks: 10.8b.

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.33GHz
Motherboard: Asus Rampage II Extreme
Chipset Drivers: Intel (Intel)
Hard Disk: OCZ Summit (120GB)
Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 3 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Cards: AMD Radeon HD 5970
AMD Radeon HD 5870
AMD Radeon HD 5850
AMD Radeon HD 5830
AMD Radeon HD 5770
AMD Radeon HD 5750
AMD Radeon HD 4890
AMD Radeon HD 4870 1GB
AMD Radeon HD 4850
AMD Radeon HD 3870
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
Asus ENGTS450 Top
Palit GeForce GTS 450 Sonic Platinum
EVGA GeForce GTS 450 FTW
Sparkle Calibre X450G
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 197.13
NVIDIA ForceWare 257.15 Beta
NVIDIA ForceWare 258.80 Beta
NVIDIA ForceWare 260.52 Beta
AMD Catalyst 10.3a
AMD Catalyst 10.8b
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Forceware 260 & Bitstreaming Audio Crysis: Warhead
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  • FragKrag - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Why isn't there a SC2 bench? :(

    I saw them on the laptop reviews and expected them here :(((((
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Because of the vast number of cards in our library, we only refresh the GPU test suite twice a year. It will get refreshed later this fall, and SC2 is a very likely candidate.
  • Gomez Addams - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    When you do your refresh please include older cards like the GTX285 and those of its era. I find it helpful to be able to evaluate whether a video card update will be of any value. So far, it would be of very little value.
  • ronnybrendel - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link
  • eanazag - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Regretfully, I am patiently waiting for the test suite refresh.
  • Leyawiin - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Prior to Newegg pulling them there were lower priced ones at $130 going up to $140. Its true if you play the rebate game you can get an HD 5770 at that price, but what's coming out of your pocket on the day you buy is generally $140-150. HD 5750s are sitting at $120-140. GTX 460 768MBs are down to $170 (no rebate) so the pressure seems to be on the Radeons as much as the GTS 450. The HD 5750 is almost a useless purchase when the others are clustered so closely to its price point.
  • iwodo - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    It is too bad that we wont get a 28nm die shrink of the Fermi soon. But it seems the logical plan for Nvidia is to work on Frequency and Bandwidth.

    You mention Nvidia has a relatively poor Memory Controller for GDDR5 and that is why it had to use 384bit MC where 256 from a ATI design would be enough.

    It we get a MC upgrade, + some better Frequency Headroom, and unlock the last bit of the SP, Nvidia should be able to counter the Northen Island coming in 2 - 3 months time.

    As that would be the best we can get with 40nm limit and respin of Fermi.
  • DMisner - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    How does the 450 stand up to the 250 in power consumption and general gaming performance.

    Also, any word on how many PPD the GTS 450 will get in Folding@Home?
  • lecaf - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    in all these benchmarks the 450 beats the 460 is that right ?
    I've took a look at tomshardware review and there the 460 wins.

    Did I miss-look at something or the figures are wrong?
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Where are you seeing the GTS 450 beating the GTX 460?

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