Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum
With a core clock speed of 930 MHz -- an increase of 17.5% over stock -- Palit claims their Sonic Platinum board to be the fastest GTS 450 on the market. Technically, that is true, with the closest competitor being from ASUS and clocking in at 925 MHz. We’ll take a look at whether or not that self-proclaimed title has any bearing on real world performance a little later on.
The first thing we noticed about this card was that the PCB is shorter than normal; it measures about 7.5”, a full three-quarters of an inch shorter than the reference board. While a more compact design doesn’t really help much unless you’re lacking in case room, it certainly doesn’t hurt anything, either. Also in line with the space-saving mentality is the fact that the 6-pin power connector is located on the side of the board, rather than the end.
Palit didn’t bother with an enclosure to improve air flow, instead choosing to rely on a much larger heatsink with dual copper heatpipes to keep temperatures down. The standard 75mm fan is mounted directly in the center of the board, lending some symmetry to its overall appearance. As you’ll see on the temperature graphs, this configuration succeeds in negating any extra heat the cranked up clocks manage to generate.
Another change from the reference design lies with this GTS 450’s display outputs. Rather than sticking to the standard dual-DVI plus mini-HDMI configuration, they’ve switched out the latter for a full-size HDMI port and even added a VGA connector, as well. It’s great that they’ve eliminated the need for a mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter, and considering that this is a budget video card, it isn’t too far-fetched to think some people might still be using an older CRT display.
As you know from the chart on the previous page, Palit is charging $159.99 for this graphics card. That’s definitely going to raise some eyebrows, and for good reason. After all, that’s practically a 25% increase from the base price of the GTS 450. The question you would need to ask yourself is whether or not you value the guaranteed overclock out of the box that much.
Bundle and accessories
There’s not much to see here, which is expected of a low-end GPU, but also a little disappointing considering the $30 premium you would pay for this package:
- Graphics driver CD
- Quick Installation Guide
- 6-pin PCI-E power adapter