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A week ago on Sept 13 2010, GTS450 was officially added into NVIDIA GeForce family with Fermi GPU architecture. Today we have a chance to review EVGA GeForce GTS450 and our sample is an overclocked version which comes with high speeds than the NVIDIA reference card. Besides that EVGA has bundled EVGA Precision and OC Scanner tool which are pretty useful overclocking and monitoring tools. Without further delay, let us reveal this upcoming most sellable graphic card.
EVGA Corporation is a NVIDIA based graphic card maker as well as Intel based motherboard maker plus some consumer electronic accessories. EVGA Corporation is found in July 1999 where their HQ is located at Brea, California currently.
USA, EMEA and Canada are the main focus by EVGA Corporation where their products are mainly sold through by some famous online stores such as Newegg, Amazon, TigerDirect and etc. However for Asia and Latin American, EVGA products are distributed through distributors like Ingram Micro. One of the interesting programs of EVGA Corporation is their "step up" where users can trade in their existing products to a better model minus the original cost of the card; T&C.
- Microsoft DirectX 11 Support
- NVIDIA PhysX Technology
- NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology
- NVIDIA 2-way SLI Ready
- NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready
- PCI Express 2.0 Support
* Overclocked out of the box - This card offers a performance increase out of the box, attached is the product spec sheet which includes the details on clockspeeds.
* Special Edition EVGA Precision v2.0.0 (attached) - We created a special look of our popular software specifically for the EVGA GTS 450, this utility allows overclocking, monitoring and fanspeed adjustments. Version 2.0.0 adds the highly requested Fan Profiling feature.
* EVGA OC Scanner (attached) - EVGA OC Scanner is fully supported by the EVGA GTS 450, this utility allows you to benchmark, monitor and stress test your EVGA card.
* EVGA 24/7 customer support - EVGA's customer support is available at any time throughout the day, 7 days a week.
* EVGA Community - Active game servers, thriving forums, integrated chat and social networks allow users to ask questions or get help
- Core Clock: 882MHz
- Memory Clock: 3800MHz Effective
- Shader Clock: 1764MHz
- CUDA Cores: 192
- Bus Type: PCI-E 2.0
- Memory Detail: 1024MB GDDR5
- Memory Bit Width: 128 Bit
- Memory Speed: 0.5ns
- Memory Bandwidth: 60.8GB/s
- One Mini-HDMI 1.4a Connector
- Two Dual-Link DVI-I Connectors
Package & Contents
EVGA GeForce GTS450 comes with a cool packaging container and its features, package contents and warranty are well written at the back in multi-languages. Everything is well packed for EVGA GeForce GTS450 but we prefer a bigger box to give more room for the graphic card to handle any dropping and squeezing.
In term of contents, EVGA GeForce GTS450 comes with a thick user's manual, quick start guide, 6-pin to PCI-E power adapter, DVI-to-VGA adapter and a piece of CD for driver & software setup. Another similar model is available where additional miniHDMI-HDMI adapter is bundled for those need it; everything else will be the same.
Technologies Behind The Scene
CUDA - Compute Unified Device Arctitecture is a NVIDIA's parallel computing architecture that enables dramatic performance improvement by harnessing the power of the GPU; evolving from the central processing on the CPU to co-processing on the CPU and GPU.
PhysX - It is an add-on element to accelerate the supported gaming performance by either PhysX PPU or CUDA-enabled GeForce GPU; resulting smoother gaming experience and additional visual effect.
3D Vision - It is a combination of GPU, specialized 3D glasses, software and certified displays and projectors to deliver outstanding 3D experience on the desktop or workstation.
SLI Scaling - Scalable Link Interface is a linking of more than one graphic card to provide parallel processing power for computer graphics with single output.
DirectX 11 - The latest collection of API for handling tasks related to multimedia and released by Microsoft on Oct 2009. DirectX 11 supports Vista and Window 7 and its major features are GPGPU, Tessellation, Multi-threading improvement and etc.
PureVideo HD - Combination of dedicated video processing core on NVIDIA GPU and software in NVIDIA drivers to deliver superb video quality with minimal CPU usage plus lower power consumption when playing blu-ray or HD DVD disc.
A Closer Look on EVGA GTS450
Just to refresh for those are not familiar with NVIDIA graphic card, basically NVIDIA has categories their desktop and notebook graphic cards into three categories. GeForce GTX is highest end, GeForce GTS and GeForce GT are mainstream while GeForce is the entry level; those models end with "M" are notebook VGA. In this EVGA GeForce GTS450 review, we are not going to discuss NVIDIA technologies in-depth since there are plenty of reviews and press releases out there; we will focus the uniqueness of EVGA GeForce GTS450.
There is no doubt EVGA is one of the leading NVIDIA based graphic card makers and there are total four models just for GeForce GTS450 itself; FTW (For The Win), Superclocked (HDMI converter), Superclocked and FPB (Free Performance Boost). All these EVGA GeForce GTS450 models do not come with default graphic clocks @ 783MHz as all of them are overclocked at 822MHz, 882MHz and 920MHz; quite tempting right? Let's move on.
The dimension and weight of EVGA GeForce GTS450 are 210 x 111.15 mm and 900 grams; quite identical with NVIDIA reference card although this card is pre-overclocked. EVGA GeForce GTS450 is a PCI-E 2.0 16X graphic card and same with other modern performance graphic card where it will occupy two PCI slots. For the resolution, EVGA GeForce GTS450 can support up to 2560 x 1600 (Digital) or 2048 x 1536 (Analog); more than enough to support most of the applications and games.
Based on NVIDIA reference card, the maximum power consumption of GeForce GTS450 is 106W hence a 400W PSU is the minimum requirement to support its peak load. EVGA GeForce GTS450 is a SLI-ready card where SLI-link connector is available. GeForce GTS450 is the top graphic card from NVIDIA mainstream segment and it requires a single 6-pin connector (dual-molex to 6-pin power connector is provided for those are still having older type of PSU).
Most of the graphic cards nowadays come with awesome and fantastic GPU's cooler. This is same for EVGA GeForce GTS450 where it comes with a big round aluminum heatsink with quite number of fins (no copper heatpipe like what GTX460 is having). The black fan shroud of the cooler is used to improve the cooling efficiency but we prefer an one-way airflow blower to avoid the hot air to be trapped inside the casing.
EVGA GeForce GTS450 comes with 192 CUDA cores and as we mentioned previous the graphic clock is overclocked from 783MHz to 882MHz; pretty overclockable. Besides the GPU and memory clock speeds, the major differences between GTS450 (GF106) and GTX460 (GF104) are the stream processor (192 vs 336), texture fill rate (25.1 vs 37.8), memory bus width (128-bit vs 192-bit) and other will be quite similar.
Same with NVIDIA reference card, EVGA GeForce GTS450 comes with 1GB capacity with total eight memory chips. Samsung K4G10325FE-HC05 is a DDR5 128bit memory chip with 0.5ns speed. The suggested memory clock speed for GeForce GTS450 is 1804MHz but EVGA GeForce GTS450 superclocked model has more than that @ 1900MHz while 2052MHz for FTW model. Anyhow most of the GeForce GTS450 cards are able to reach 2000MHz since it is the rated speed for K4G10325FE-HC05 so it should not problem to push further.
EVGA GeForce GTS450 comes with two DVI ports and a mini HDMI port. Two DVI ports are given which is ideal for dual-monitor setup since most of the LCD display comes with DVI connectors for higher resolution display. The mini HDMI is ideal for those need video and audio outputs at the same time with lesser cabling. Three-phase power are used for EVGA GeForce GTS450 together with some solid capacitors for greater reliability and better life span.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Graphic card setup and installation are pretty simple hence we are not going to touch much on it. However since EVGA GeForce GTS450 will occupy two PCI slots due to its cooler, user has to ensure adequate slots are available especially for SLI setup. EVGA GeForce GTS450 doesn't come with heavy weight so any kind of tool-less PCI lock should able to fasten it well. Besides that the power connector has be connected to the EVGA GeForce GTS450 else false alarm will be generated.
NVIDIA had released the 260.63 beta drivers during the launching of GeForce GTS450 which is NVIDIA latest 260 family of driver. This driver is able to boost up the performance on all the GeForce 400 series GPUs. Besides that this new driver allows user to do custom installation such as PhysX, HD audio, Graphic and 3D vision drivers.
Here is the software setup of EVGA GeForce GTS450 which contains video driver (hopefully it will get updated to latest 260 driver soon), DirectX 10/11, EVGA Precision, EVGA OC Scanner, EVGA SLI Enhancement and so on; it's an interesting and user friendly GUI.
Here is the product detail of EVGA GeForce GTS450 by using GPU-Z. Everything is matching with EVGA GeForce GTS450 product specifications; you may use it to cross check with what you have bought, just to double confirm. (This GPU-Z screenshot was captured before we upgraded it to latest 260 driver)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 (Gigabyte G31M-ES2L)
Heatsink: Noctua NH-C12P
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: EVGA GeForce GTS450
Casing: In Win Maelstorm
PSU: Aerocool V12XT-800
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Optical Drive: HLDS DVD RW +/-
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP2/Vista Home Premium
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Here are the performance results of EVGA GeForce GTS450 for both of the synthetic and gaming benchmarking. Overall EVGA GeForce GTS450 is performing better than the stock GeForce GTS450 which is expected since this card is overclocked (overall it get around 10% +/- improvement). We have tested most of the games in 1600 x 1050 resolution and EVGA GeForce GTS450 is doing pretty well unless you already own a GTX480 else nothing to complaint about. Besides that it is definitely advisable to get such pre-overclocked graphic card like EVGA GeForce GTS450 if the price gap is not too broad. This save the effort to fine tune the graphic card slowly and most important thing is the warranty as it is still valid with these pre-overclocked speeds.
For the power consumption and temperatures, EVGA GeForce GTS450 doesn't really draw much of the power which is a good thing for end users in order not over spending on another high end PSU. The temperature of EVGA GeForce GTS450 is still very acceptable regardless of its overclocking speeds. In term of overclocking, we have managed to push EVGA GeForce GTS450 with few more MHz but we have decided to stick with the default setting as the performance is more than enough to handle all kind of gaming in midrange till performance settings; if you really want better performance card, just go for NVIDIA GeForce GTX460.
Before we end this review, let us touch a little bit on EVGA software. EVGA Precision is an overclocking utility so no third party overclocking tool is required anymore as it is always good to use back the provided or so called official tool for better compatibility. EVGA Precision allows user to overclock the core, shader, memory clocks and also provide real time monitoring; this software is compatible with Logitech keyboard LCD display too.
EVGA OC Scanner is another bundled software for this EVGA GeForce GTS450 which is benchmarking tool with built-in artifact scanning. This software is very useful for user to determine and overclock their graphic card to the maximum level as long as it passes the artifact scanning. Besides that EVGA OC Scanner is also allow user to benchmark their newly overclocked speeds to understand the improved performance; can be used to justify whether it is worth to overclock it or stick with default speeds if the improvement is not that significant.
Based on the research that was done through third party partner, more than 50% games are played in 1680 x 1050 resolution and lower. Hence GeForce GTS450 was born by NVIDIA to capture this largest market with very competitive pricing. There is no doubt NVIDIA GeForce GTS450 is really a worth-of-value graphic card with its tempting features and EVGA GeForce GTS450 is even much attractive offer than reference card with the pre-overclocked speeds, additional EVGA software OC Scanner and Precision. If you are looking for a mainstream graphic card which can at least last you couple of years for playing latest games than EVGA GeForce GTS450 is really one of your good choices @ 129USD; exactly same pricing with the NVIDIA GeForce GTS450 reference card at stock clock speeds.
+ Super value of money
+ Great mainstream performance
+ Support DirectX 11
+ Pre-overclocked version (hassle-free)
+ EVGA OC Scanner & Precision utilities
+ Lower TDP & Quite operating fan
+ 2 years warranty
- Not really
Thanks to EVGA for providing this sample for us to review.
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