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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.

StarCraft II

Of all the games we test, it might be this one that needs no introduction. Back in 1998, Blizzard unleashed what was soon to be one of the most successful RTS titles on the planet, and even as of today, the original is still heavily played all around the world – even in actual competitions. StarCraft II of course had a lot of hype to live up to, and it did, thanks to its intense gameplay and superb graphics.

StarCraft II

Manual Run-through: The portion of the game we use for testing is part of the Zero Hour mission, which has us holding fort until we’re able to evacuate. Our saved game starts us in the middle of the mission, and from the get-go, we build a couple of buildings and concurrently move our main units up and around the map. Total playtime lasts about two minutes.

Just Cause 2 might have leaned towards AMD’s graphics cards, but SCII clearly favors NVIDIA’s. Here, our SLI configuration of the GTS 450, which would run about $260, simply dominated the HD 5870, except at the top-end resolution of 2560×1600. And even there, the performance for both were above 50 FPS, so whether you’d actually see the difference or not is the big question.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 480 1536MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
25
72.674
AMD HD 5870 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
31
57.28
NVIDIA GTX 470 1280MB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
20
55.961
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (Reference SLI)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
32
50.060
AMD HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
32
48.787
NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
25
41.306
AMD HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
20
32.986
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
19
32.561
AMD HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Ultra Detail, 0xAA
17
30.515
AMD HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – High Detail, 0xAA
23
37.297
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – High Detail, 0xAA
22
33.331

StarCraft II might have some of the best aesthetic values in current titles, but it can fortunately run on a wide gamut of hardware without requiring you to tone down the details. As such, running 2560×1600 on all of our cards is no problem at all.