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 -|
ASUS, EVGA and MSI GTS 450 Video Cards
NVIDIA told us that the day the GeForce GTS 450 embargo lifts that it would be a hard launch, with immediate availability from their board partners. In fact, we didn't doubt that as this is the first time in a number of launches that we turned away partner cards due to the vast number of cards that arrived on our door step. In fact, we got five GTS 450 video cards in the week before the GeForce GTS 450 launched!
Rather than go into depth on each one of these cards we will just post up a couple of pictures of each AIB card and what unique features they offer over the reference design that we just went into great detail on in the previous page.
ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCU TOP/DI/1GD5:
First up we have the ASUS ENGTS450 TOP, and to be honest it is the most interesting of all the GeForce GTS 450 video cards that were shipped to us for this launch article. ASUS informed us that they will be releasing two cards at launch: the standard card based off the reference design for $129.99 and then the TOP edition card that you see above for $139.99. What does an extra $10 get you? Well, it gets you a factory overclocked card that features an improved GPU cooler and a custom PCB. ASUS tells us that they used a non-reference VRM design that includes a higher power phase count and special POSCAP capacitor for superior power delivery and performance. We took apart the ENGTS450 TOP and found that it uses a 4-phase power setup versus the 3-phase power setup used on the reference card.
As you can see from the picture above the card is much different looking and the GPU cooler is much longer. This new and improved cooler helped ASUS increase the core clock speed up to 925MHz (1850MHz shaders) and push the memory clock up to 4000MHz (1000MHz GDDR5). This video card had the highest core clock and shader clock speeds of any that we tested.
Since ASUS used a custom PCB design they rotated the 6-pin PCIe power connector up rather than out the end of the card, which is great for people with small cases. Notice that the card's fan shroud comes past the PCB. The ASUS ENGTS450 TOP measures 8.543" long and 4.37" tall. Also seen in the image above are the two 8mm heatpipes that are used on the ASUS DirectCU thermal solution. This solution is said to keep the GPU 20% cooler and 35% quieter than the reference design.
ASUS didn't stop there with the changes, though, as they also switched up the display connectors on the ENGTS450 TOP graphics card! The ENGTS450 TOP include a single
dual-link DVI-I output, VGA connector and an HDMI output header rather than a pair of
dual-link DVI-I outputs along with a mini-HDMI output header that is seen on the NVIDIA reference design. I guess that for this sub $150 price range that ASUS feels some of their customers will still be using monitors with VGA connections on them or they wanted to use a full size HDMI 1.4a connector.
EVGA GeForce GTS 450 FTW:
Next up we have the EVGA GeForce GTS 450 FTW video card and, as you could guess, this card is the very best offering from EVGA for the GTS450 series by NVIDIA. This card is based on the NVIDIA reference design for both the PCB and the GPU cooler, but they cranked up the clocks. The card that we got to review had part number 01G-P3-1458-TR.
As you can see from the picture EVGA kept the NVIDIA reference design, but changed the PCB to black and placed a sticker on the fan shroud. They increased the core clock speed up to 920MHz (1840MHz shaders) and pushed the memory clock up to 4100MHz (1025MHz GDDR5). This video card had the memory clock speed of any GTS450 that we tested and they said that the FTW edition has 65.6GB/sec of memory bandwidth as a result of the overclock! The EVGA GeForce GTS 450 FTW measures in at 8.25" long and 4.376" in height.
When it comes to pricing EVGA said their regular card will be $129.99, but the Super Clocked version will be $139 and the FTW version that we have here today has an MSRP of $149.99.
MSI N450GTS Cyclone 1GD5:
Next up we have the MSI N450GTS Cyclone 1GD5 video card and this card is, again, based on the NVIDIA reference design for both the PCB but uses a custom GPU cooler that is found on previous MSI Cyclone branded cards and, of course, they too overclocked the card. The card that we got to review had part number 912-V236-01.
As you can see from the picture MSI stuck with the NVIDIA reference PCB design, but changed the PCB to black and stuck on a massive GPU cooler to help keep temperatures down. They increased the core clock speed up to 850MHz (1700MHz shaders) and pushed the memory clock up to 4000MHz (1000MHz GDDR5). This video card had the slowest clock speeds of the three retail GTS450 video cards that we tested, but it also has the lowest price of the three! The EVGA GeForce GTS 450 FTW measures in at 8.25" long and 5.125" in height thanks to the heatpipes sticking up taller than the PCB.
When it comes to pricing MSI said their regular card will be $129.99, the Cyclone version we have will be $134.99 and that a HAWK version is coming out later for a tad more than the Cyclone.
Next Page - The New NVIDIA R260 Series Drivers
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