Legit Video Card Reviews
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 SLI Video Card Review w/ ASUS, EVGA & MSI
|Product:||GeForce GTS 450|
|Date:||Sun, Sep 12, 2010 - 11:00 PM|
|Written By:||Nathan Kirsch -|
GeForce GTS 450 Brings NVIDIA DX11 to $129
NVIDIA has been enjoying success in the DirectX 11 video card market ever since they launched the budget-friendly GeForce GTX 460 graphics card back in July 2010. The GeForce GTX 460 video card seemed to come out of no place and was found to be a great card in every aspect as seen in our many articles and reviews using the GTX 460 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Today, NVIDIA is releasing another new DX11 graphics card, but this time it is really interesting as it is coming out with an MSRP of $129. This is a very popular price point for video cards and one where NVIDIA has been lacking a DX11 offering. NVIDIA has begun to refer to the price point as the 'LAN Party Pwning' group.
Basically, this is the group of gamers that are younger and on a tight budget. This group also makes up the majority of the market according to NVIDIA, and market research from Steam shows that most gamers play on 17” to 22” monitors with resolutions of 1280x1024 to 1680x1050. NVIDIA designed the GTS 450 GPU to be able to play at these popular resolutions using any DirectX APIs, including DX11. The NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 will replace the GTS 250 1GB in the NVIDIA product line-up, so if you currently own one of those cards it has now been deemed 'old' and has been replaced. NVIDIA knows that this market is a very big deal and with the launch of the GeForce GTS 450 video card they hope to dominate this little slice of the market.
What do you get for $129? Well, for starters the GeForce GTS 450 is based off a brand new 'Fermi' core that goes by the name of GF106. This is the third core that uses 'Fermi' architecture by NVIDIA for desktop graphics cards. The GF106 is a new, smaller die that should be more cost effective since NVIDIA can get more cores from each wafer that TSMC produces for them.
The core that the GeForce GTS 450 is using is the GF106. The new GF106 core can be seen in the diagram above. The GF106 is still manufactured at TSMC using their advanced 40nm processor. The GF106 features 1.17 billion transistors. This is down significantly from the 1.95 billion transistors used on the GF104. NVIDIA might have trimmed down the transistor count, but the core still has enough transistors left to pack inside 4 streaming multiprocessors, 196 CUDA cores, 32 texture units and 16 ROPs.
The GF106 chip architecture includes one GPC, four SMs, three ROP partitions, and three 64-bit memory interfaces. The GTS 450 GPU is a version of the GF106 chip, but with two ROP partitions and two memory interfaces. NVIDIA states that their goal with the GTS 450 was to design the best price/performance product at an aggressive MSRP while offering the highly valued 1GB memory size. According to them, the 128-bit memory configuration was used since it provides the best price/performance for these design goals.
NVIDIA will have just a single sku in the GeForce GTS 450 series, but we wouldn't be surprised if something else comes out in the months ahead as a GTS 455 has been rumored for some time. This reference GeForce GTS 450 ships with a 783MHz Core GPU clock, 1566MHz shaders and 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 900MHz (3600MHz effective) on a 128-bit interface. As you can see from the presentation slide above the GTS450 is 8.25" in length and features a dual-slot cooling design.
Looking at the detailed specifications we can see that the GeForce GTS 450 graphics card with 1GB of GDDR5 memory has 57.7 GB/s of total memory bandwidth, which is a fair amount less than we see on the GeForce GTX 460 1GB (115.2 GB/s w/ 256-bit bus) and 768MB (86.4GB/s w/ 192-bit bus) video cards. Keep in mind that this card only has a 128-bit bus, so that is the main reason that the memory bandwidth has decreased so much. The GeForce GTS 450 1GB had just a smaller 256KB L2 cache size as well.
Before we move on to taking the GTS450 apart, let's make sure we are all clear on pricing for NVIDIA's DX11 video card lineup. Prices may vary depending on the region, but expected MSRP’s for our GTX 400 GPUs as of the GTS 450 launch are as follows:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 - $499
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 - $299
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 - $229
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB - $219
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB - $169
- NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 1GB - $129
Next Page - A Closer Look At The GeForce GTS450
Page 1 - GeForce GTS 450 Brings NVIDIA DX11 to $129
Page 2 - A Closer Look At The GeForce GTS450
Page 3 - ASUS, EVGA and MSI GTS 450 Video Cards
Page 4 - The New NVIDIA R260 Series Drivers
Page 5 - The Test System
Page 6 - Aliens vs. Predator
Page 7 - Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY
Page 8 - Just Cause 2
Page 9 - Metro 2033
Page 10 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Page 11 - StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Page 12 - 3DMark Vantage
Page 13 - Unigine 'Heaven' DX11
Page 14 - FurMark 1.8.2
Page 15 - Power Consumption
Page 16 - Temperature Testing
Page 17 - GeForce GTS 450 1GB Overclocking
Page 18 - Final Thoughts and Conclusions