Last week, NVIDIA launched their latest GPU based on the Fermi architecture, the GeForce GTS 450
. Targeted toward the budget-minded gamer, this model aims to bring major DX11 performance down to the sub-$150 price range. Much like the launch of the GTX 460 back in July
, board partners hit the ground running and provided ample supply of these graphics cards to the market on (or even before) day one.
Naturally, this means there are a lot of choices, but how do you know what to buy? Never fear, your pals at FiringSquad are here to help you better decide which particular product would be the right one for you. Obviously we can’t test every single SKU available, but we can gather a handful and put them to the test. Hopefully, you’ll learn enough from that to be able to make an educated decision as to which GTS 450 you should buy, if any. From big names like EVGA and Gigabyte to lesser-knowns Palit and Galaxy, we’ve got mixtures of custom cooling and overclocking such that will make your head spin!
Palit lays claim to the fastest GTS 450 on the market with their Sonic Platinum model, the cutting edge of their offerings in this segment. It also sports an even more compact PCB design, a custom cooling solution, and an alternate selection of display outputs. However, it is also the most expensive graphics card here.
EVGA’s GTS 450 FTW Edition is part of their flagship “For The Win” series of GPUs, which are hand-picked to be among the best overclockers and come standard with their highest factory overclock. Otherwise, it is rather plain, being closely based upon NVIDIA’s reference design.
Galaxy is relatively unknown to the average consumer in the West, but this Hong Kong-based company has been making graphics cards for more than 10 years. Their GTS 450 Super OC is only moderately overclocked compared to the previous two contenders, but features dual-heatpipe cooling and even a detachable fan.
Finally, we have the Gigabyte GTS 450 OC, the underdog in this race. With clock speeds that are hardly much higher than stock, the custom cooler with two fans, two heatpipes, and a giant heatsink seems like overkill. However, any enthusiast worth his salt knows what you can do with thermal overhead like that…
Before we take a closer look at each of the four cards individually, take a gander at this comparison chart for a quick overview of their attributes:
|GeForce GTS 450 Comparison|
|Reference GTS 450||Palit GTS 450 SP||EVGA GTS 450 FTW||Galaxy GTS 450 SOC||Gigabyte GTS 450 OC|
|Core Clock Speed||783 MHz||930 MHz||920 MHz||888 MHz||830 MHz|
|Memory Clock Speed||902 MHz||1,000 MHz||1,026 MHz||1,000 MHz||902 MHz|
|Video Memory Size||1GB GDDR5||1GB GDDR5||1GB GDDR5||1GB GDDR5||1GB GDDR5|
|Display Outputs||2 DVI, mini-HDMI||2 DVI, VGA, HDMI||2 DVI, mini-HDMI||DVI, VGA, HDMI||2 DVI, mini-HDMI|