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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 13 September 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video Card
NVIDIA Fermi Features
NVIDIA GF106 GPU Specifications
GeForce GTS 450 Partner Products
Closer Look: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX10: Far Cry 2
DX10: Resident Evil 5
DX10: Street Fighter IV
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
NVIDIA APEX PhysX Enhancements
NVIDIA 3D-Vision Effects
GeForce GTS 450 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
GeForce GTS 450 Overclocking
Editor's Opinion: NVIDIA Fermi
GeForce GTS 450 Conclusion

DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1

The Unigine "Heaven 2.1" benchmark is a free publicly available tool that grants the power to unleash the graphics capabilities in DirectX-11 for Windows 7 or updated Vista Operating Systems. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode, emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

The distinguishing feature in the Unigine Heaven benchmark is a hardware tessellation that is a scalable technology aimed for automatic subdivision of polygons into smaller and finer pieces, so that developers can gain a more detailed look of their games almost free of charge in terms of performance. Thanks to this procedure, the elaboration of the rendered image finally approaches the boundary of veridical visual perception: the virtual reality transcends conjured by your hand.

Although Heaven-2.1 was recently released and used for our DirectX-11 tests, the benchmark results were extremely close to those obtained with Heaven-1.0 testing. Since only DX11-compliant video cards will properly test on the Heaven benchmark, only those products that meet the requirements have been included.

  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
    • GPU-Appropriate Settings: (High Quality, Moderate Tessellation, 4x AF, 2x AA)
    • Extreme Settings: (High Quality, Normal Tessellation, 16x AF, 4x AA


Heaven 2.1 GPU-Appropriate Quality Settings

Cost Analysis: Heaven 2.1 (Normal)

  • $120 Radeon HD 5750 1GB costs $6.74 per FPS
  • $130 GeForce GTS 450 1GB costs $5.49 per FPS
  • $150 Radeon HD 5770 1GB costs $6.70 per FPS
  • Test Summary: Reviewers like to say "Nobody plays a benchmark", but it seems evident that we can expect to see great things come from a graphics tool this detailed. For now though, those details only come by way of DirectX-11 video cards. Since Heaven is a very demanding benchmark tool, our entry-level video cards require more appropriate settings: moderate tessellation and lower post-processing effects. Reducing quality and effects allowed the Radeon HD 5750 to produce 17.8 FPS, which was subsequently outperformed with 23.7 FPS from the GTS 450. Trailing behind by 1.3 FPS was the Radeon HD 5770, which slips lower when compared to 27.9 FPS produced by an overclocked GTS 450. Now let's see how higher settings and SLI impact performance...


    Heaven 2.1 Extreme Quality Settings

    Cost Analysis: Unigine Heaven (Extreme)

  • $150 Radeon HD 5770 1GB costs $8.77 per FPS
  • $130 GeForce GTS 450 1GB costs $7.10 per FPS
  • $200 Radeon HD 5830 1GB costs $9.48 per FPS
  • $180 GeForce GTX 460 768MB costs $6.59 per FPS
  • $270 Radeon HD 5850 1GB costs $10.98 per FPS
  • $300 GeForce GTX 470 1280MB costs $9.87 per FPS
  • Test Summary: Our 'extreme' test results with the Unigine Heaven benchmark tool appear to deliver fair comparisons of DirectX-11 graphics cards when set to higher quality levels. NVIDIA's GeForce GTS 450 1GB outperforms the Radeon HD 5770 by a mere 1.2 FPS, but that same less-expensive GTS 450 delivers a crushing advantage over the 5770 in terms of price to performance ratio. Looked at differently, the GeForce GTS 450 delivers a 7% video performance advantage while producing a 24% lead in price to performance value. Overclocked, the GTS 450 further extends its lead over the Radeon 5770 by 15%. SLI performance scaling has come a long way, and a pair of GeForce GTS 450's in SLI dominate the Radeon HD 5850 by nearly 11 FPS.

    Graphics Card GeForce 9800 GTX+ Radeon HD4890 GeForce GTX285 Radeon HD5750 Radeon HD5770 GeForce GTS450 Radeon HD5830 GeForce GTX460 Radeon HD5850 GeForce GTX470
    GPU Cores 128 800 240 720 800 192 1120 336 1440 448
    Core Clock (MHz) 740 850 670 700 850 783 800 675 725 608
    Shader Clock (MHz) 1836 N/A 1550 N/A N/A 1566 N/A 1350 N/A 1215
    Memory Clock (MHz) 1100 975 1300 1150 1200 902 1000 900 1000 837
    Memory Amount 512 MB GDDR3 1024 MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR3 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024 MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 768MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1280MB GDDR5
    Memory Interface 256-bit 128-bit 512-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 256-bit 192-bit 256-bit 320-bit



    # RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video CardXeann 2010-09-12 22:06
    It is unfortunate that the launch of this card took so long. However, the improve of performance in SLI is great.

    thanks for the review
    Report Comment
    # RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video CardJason 2010-09-13 02:35
    What do I get 5770 or gts 450 for gaming and multi media
    Report Comment
    # RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video CardRealNeil 2010-09-13 03:14
    The GTS450 does more with the Fermi chip's features, but also has all of the 5770's capabilities.
    We haven't been able to say this for a few years, but the NVIDIA cards are now the better deal.
    Especially with the prices that they're coming in at.
    Report Comment
    # The years long pop culture ideation quotedSiliconDoc 2010-09-13 13:30
    Yeah, well I don't believe in the years long "assessment" the near entire online culture has been spewing about ati being the better value for several years.
    1. Cuda
    2. PhysX
    3. Better/ easier driver installs/upgrades
    4. A lot more stable drivers across the board
    5. Ambient occlusion "in the driver update" new features w drivers
    6. Folding superiority
    7. Dual card scaling superiority, recently from good to outstanding
    8. see #3 / no "mouse cursor disappears", no "cursor corruption" (seen since ati's all in wonder pci - a recurring issue for YEARS )
    9. no dot net 2.0 requirements
    10. superior control panel for a long, long time.
    11. Since GTX200 series, LOTS of free software - including free 3d game Warmonger - works wonderfully with instant peer to peer gaming - destructive in game environment via PhysX.
    12. Free Ray Tracing Design Garage since GTX200 = 400 series win7.
    13. 2 frames 2 bucks and 2 watts
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    # RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video CardOlin Coles 2010-09-13 07:04
    Probably the GeForce GTS 450 so that transcoding times are faster. I'd go for the GTX 460 if you can afford it.
    Report Comment
    # late to the showknutjb 2010-09-13 06:15
    The 450 looks like a good card for the price. I have had a 5770 since the launch and being so late to the market has hurt NVIDIA. I think they had to market it at a lower price, i.e. dump it, to try and regain some ground in this segment which is bigger profit wise than the silly money cards due to the volume.

    The question will be when AMD will drop prices on the 57XX and when the 6XXX will come to market. If the 6XXX comes Q1-2 NVIDIA could have a big problem but that's a big if.
    Report Comment
    # RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video CardOblivionLord 2010-09-13 08:24
    The GTX260 should have been benched since it compares with the 5770.
    Report Comment
    # RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video CardOlin Coles 2010-09-13 08:46
    Amazing. It's amazing that a 24-page article full of free information isn't enough to warrant anything but your feeble complaint.

    The GTX 260 is not a DirectX-11 video card, which limits it to only half of the tests. Additionally, this isn't a 5770 review... it's a GTS 450 review. Nobody really cares how the GTX 260 compares with the 5770, and if they did, they could go read those reviews.
    Report Comment
    # RE: RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video CardSiliconDoc 2010-09-13 13:38
    Not much appreciation, huh. LOL
    Here, I'll review for the great Lord, since I've seen 100 comparisons online, not certain where the great Lord has been, except perhaps in Oblivion.
    The GTX260 is faster than the 5770, a bit more so than the 5770 has so far shown a slight advantage against the GTS450.
    The deranged online pop culture fan community will scream the 450 competes with the 5750, as usual, pretending someone should listen to the free ati upgrade and nvidia downgrade, despite the available evidence. Do not be fooled, unless of course, you simply cannot help it.
    If that's the case scream a few lies in reply.
    Report Comment
    # RE: RE: RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 GF106 Video CardDeranged 2010-09-14 04:31
    nVidia has a far more superior driver update process. They are constantly adding more bang for your buck. And for those who did purchase and still use the GTX260 have produced a far more reliable product for years.

    I will probably have a few good replies but I tried to run ATI but the load times on my games was un-bearable and when ATI was contacted they could only tell me "they are addressing the issue in the next driver update." Sorry I don't have 3 months to wait around for driver fixes. I bought the product so fix it. Plus I remember not to long ago when the ATI 800 AIW came out about 2 months later vista came out and what did ATI do to its loyal fan base. Oh that's right no driver support for any AIW cards in Vista, not that Vista was a good OS to begin with. So those like me that bought the card for nearly $300 dollars were SOL.
    Report Comment
    # ThanksKlyster 2010-09-13 22:10
    Cheers for another good review Olin, I appreciate your efforts.

    Thanks to you I purchased the GTX 460 1GB, and it's a great card, if only I could get it to run Design Garage
    It gives me a "not enough memory" error, bah!
    Apart from that, just awesome performance for the $$
    Anyone else run into this?
    Report Comment
    # RE: ThanksOlin Coles 2010-09-14 06:53
    The GTX 460 is an outstanding video card. How much system memory do you have installed? It sounds like a system memory/pagefile issue with that application.
    Report Comment
    # RE: RE: ThanksKlyster 2010-09-15 21:58
    8gb DDR3 , apparently a few other people have had the same issue, maybe a driver update may remedy this?
    It's not that important really, but my old GTX 260 ran it fine with only 768 MB, go figure eh?
    Report Comment
    # RE: RE: RE: ThanksOlin Coles 2010-09-15 22:00
    The new Forceware 260.63 (beta) driver just came out, and adds several new fixes and optimizations. I highly recommend it.
    Report Comment
    # RE: RE: RE: RE: ThanksKlyster 2010-09-18 15:54
    I tried them but still have the same issue, oh well, no biggie really ;)
    Report Comment
    # King of the CongJordan 2010-11-24 05:17
    F`ing great! Turned up "High" on Battlefield Badcompany 2. Only got 6gb's of Ram @1333mhz, 6mb Cache on Phenom II Dual Core @ 2.80Ghz. Not a single game gives me lip! Thnx America!
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