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NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 – The Super-Affordable Fermi
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by Rob Williams on September 29, 2010 in NVIDIA-Based GPU

Been itching to buy a piece of NVIDIA’s Fermi architecture, but were looking for a total sweet spot? At $130, the GeForce GTS 450 might be it. In all of our tests, it competed nicely with AMD’s Radeon HD 5750, but most impressive might be the card’s scaling ability in SLI, which can be summed up in one word… awesome.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

It’s not that often that faithful PC gamers get a proper racing game for their platform of choice, but Dirt 2 is one of those. While it is a “console port”, there’s virtually nothing in the game that will make that point stand out. The game as a whole takes good advantage of our PC’s hardware, and it’s as challenging as it is good-looking.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

Manual Run-through: The race we chose to use in Dirt 2 is the first one available in the game, as it’s easily accessible and features a lot of GPU-pounding effects that the game has become known for, such as realistic dust and water effects, a large on-looking crowd of people and fine details on and off the track. Each run-through lasts the entire two laps, which comes out to about 2.5 minutes.

Prior to us receiving our samples of the GTS 450, NVIDIA stated that the card should compete nicely with the HD 5750, but so far, it’s AMD’s card that’s come out ahead. The one exception is at 1680×1050… but that changed at the higher resolutions. To be fair though, the performance of the GTS 450 couldn’t be called poor… it’s pretty well on par with the HD 5750 in the real-world.

There is something still impressive to gleam from these graphs though… the performance of the GTS 450 in SLI. It’s almost as powerful as the HD 5870, which costs $140 more!

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 480 1536MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
53
61.850
AMD HD 5870 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
52
60.85
AMD HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
42
50.325
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (Reference SLI)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
44
53.584
NVIDIA GTX 470 1280MB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
42
49.032
AMD HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
24
40.385
NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 0xAA
38
44.090
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, 4xAA
49
62.358
AMD HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, 4xAA
44
58.439
AMD HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, 4xAA
39
50.327
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, 4xAA
35
45.422

As good-looking as Dirt 2 is, all of our cards managed to handle it at 2560×1600 just fine, even with 4xAA enabled. For the lower-end cards, including the GTS 450, medium detail settings had to be used, but even then, the game looked good, and ran like a dream.