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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 13 September 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling Performance
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: GeForce GTS 450
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX10: Far Cry 2
DX10: Resident Evil 5
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
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
GeForce GTS 450 SLI Conclusion

VGA Testing Methodology

The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System. The majority of benchmark tests used in this article are comparative to DX11 performance, however some high-demand DX10 tests have also been included.

According to the Steam Hardware Survey published for the month ending May 2010, the most popular gaming resolution is 1280x1024 (17-19" standard LCD monitors). However, because this 1.31MP resolution is considered 'low' by most standards, our benchmark performance tests concentrate on higher-demand resolutions: 1.76MP 1680x1050 (22-24" widescreen LCD) and 2.30MP 1920x1200 (24-28" widescreen LCD monitors). These resolutions are more likely to be used by high-end graphics solutions, such as those tested in this article.

GPU-Z_NVIDIA_GeForce_GTS-450-1GB.gifIn each benchmark test there is one 'cache run' that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts on the following pages.

A combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests have been used in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.

DX11 Cost to Performance Ratio

For this article Benchmark Reviews has included cost per FPS for graphics performance results. An average of the five least expensive product prices are calculated, which do not consider tax, freight, promotional offers, or rebates into the cost. All prices reflect product series components, and do not represent any specific manufacturer, model, or brand. The retail prices for each product were obtained from on 11-September-2010:

  • $150 Radeon HD 5770 1GB
  • $130 GeForce GTS 450 1GB
  • $200 Radeon HD 5830 1GB
  • $180 GeForce GTX 460 768MB
  • $270 Radeon HD 5850 1GB
  • $300 GeForce GTX 470 1280MB

Intel X58-Express Test System

DirectX-10 Benchmark Applications

  • 3DMark Vantage v1.02
    • Extreme Settings: (Extreme Quality, 8x Multisample Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, 1:2 Scale)
  • Crysis Warhead v1.1 with HOC Benchmark
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, Airfield Demo)
  • Far Cry 2 v1.02
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Performance, Ultra-High Quality, 8x AA, HDR + Bloom)
  • Resident Evil 5 Benchmark
    • Extreme Settings: (Super-High Quality, 8x MSAA)

DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications

  • Aliens vs Predator
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, SSAO, Tessellation, Advanced Shadows)
  • BattleField: Bad Company 2
    • Extreme Settings: (Highest Quality, HBAO, 8x AA, 16x AF, 180s Fraps Single-Player Intro Scene)
  • BattleForge v1.2
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Auto Multi-Thread)
  • Metro 2033
    • Extreme Settings: (Very-High Quality, AAA, 16x AF, Advanced DoF, Tessellation, 180s Fraps Chase Scene)
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
    • Extreme Settings: (High Quality, Normal Tessellation, 16x AF, 4x AA)

Video Card Test Products

Graphics Card Radeon HD5770 GeForce GTS450 Radeon HD5830 GeForce GTX460 Radeon HD5850 GeForce GTX470
GPU Cores 800 192 1120 336 1440 448
Core Clock (MHz) 850 783 800 675 725 608
Shader Clock (MHz) N/A 1566 N/A 1350 N/A 1215
Memory Clock (MHz) 1200 902 1000 900 1000 837
Memory Amount 1024MB GDDR5 1024 MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 768MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1280MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit 256-bit 192-bit 256-bit 320-bit



# RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling PerformanceAdam 2010-09-14 03:44
Similar results to a 5870 at £180 less? Bargain!

It would seem that now the two mid range 400 series cards are finally out Nvidia are beating AMD on nearly every front, even if it took them a rediculous amount of time to do it.

Going to be interesting to see how the 6000 series will respond to these.
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# RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling PerformanceRealNeil 2010-09-14 16:56
I agree that NVIDIA seems to be thrashing ATI right now. In terms of performance AND capability too. I can't see the 6000 series denting this kind of output with speed performance alone, they'll have to somehow add the extra capabilities that the 400 series cards have them trumped on.
It's a good time to be a consumer.
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# YEAH!Doug 2010-09-14 21:19
Ohhhhh YEaaaaah! LMAO I was hoping you would do this. Can't wait to read on!
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# Interesting.Omar 2010-09-15 23:39
Quite an interesting article. Glad to get some good numbers and comparisons with SLI.

Also, on NewEgg at least, the price of the GTX 460 is down to $170, increasing its Price/Performance margin even more. Interestingly, there's also GTX 460 1GB (as opposed to 768mB), quite curious how its price to performance stacks up.

Radeon HD 5830 is currently down to $160 w/Rebate, putting in the same price point range and price to performance range [when the GTX 460 was at $180] as the GTX 460. Though Id go with the 460 simply for PhysX & CUDA.

And those were the only two that had lower prices (or at least, lower by enough to make an decent impact).
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# RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling PerformanceDoug 2010-10-10 15:46
Looks like 460 SLI is the TICKET!
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# Hmm not a single screeching red rooster ?SiliconDoc 2010-10-24 12:42
Wow. I don't see the raging (unbiased of course!) red roosters.
Well, that always tells me what cards are so good that even they can't make up a dozen unbelievable lies about them.
Thanks for the review, and the indicative post space.
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# tested card complaintdr dreaeder 2010-11-27 16:55
the gts 450 you tested is a lower end model
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# Not Low End...BruceBruce 2010-11-27 18:26
It's the NVIDIA Reference model, and at the time the review was published, it was the only thing available.
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# 2X Cards 3X screens crysis?quickquestion 2011-01-30 18:57
I have 1 gts 450, and 2 screens (20", 1608X1050). If i add another GTS 450 and a 3rd 1680X1050 screen, will i still be able to play crysis on medium, or higher with over say, 32 FPS? BTW i will NOT be running 3D of any sort whatsoever, so i will only be rendered from 1 angle at a time, not 2. It looks like they can run triple 1080P displays in 3D and still play Mafia II, so i am guessing that I will be able to run 1608X1050 X3 and play Crysis.
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# RE: 2X Cards 3X screens crysis?Olin Coles 2011-01-30 19:00
Adding a second GTS 450 would be a very good idea, and would certainly improve performance if you extend to a third monitor. If you can play with those settings now on two monitors with one GTS 450, adding a second video card to a three-monitor system will actually yield better performance than you have now.
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# RE: 2X Cards 3X Screens Crysisquickquestion 2011-01-30 19:10
thanks for the reply as soon as i get the money I'll try to do that. have a good day and keep gaming :)
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# RE: RE: 2X Cards 3X screens crysis?Quickquestion 2011-01-30 19:54
I guess I failed to mention, I can play at those settings on 1 monitor, as with 2 my crosshairs would be in the bezel. Would I still see a performance increase adding another card and a 3rd monitor, then gaming on all 3? Or would I have to do some insane overclocking and go down to low settings? Thanks for the help man.
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# RE: RE: RE: 2X Cards 3X screens crysis?Olin Coles 2011-01-30 19:56
That changes everything. If one card on one monitor = 100% performance, than two cards on three monitors would mean 66% performance.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: 2X Cards 3X screens crysis?Quickquestion 2011-01-30 20:07
So, then I would probably need to do some insane iverclocking on each card to keep the frame rate that I'm getting, right.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: 2X Cards 3X screens crysis?Olin Coles 2011-01-30 20:08
More than insane: impossible. The best you could hope for is getting within 80% of the level you previously played at.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: 2X Cards 3X screens crysis?Quickquestion 2011-01-30 20:16
I'll try playing on 2 just to see how it goes but my pc's off right now but I'll try tomorrow and reply again. My worry is that it's barely playable now, and will become unplayable on 2 cards, 3 screens.
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# RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling Performancequickquestion 2011-01-31 13:09
this may not work well as difference in FPS, but if i get a GTX 460 SE and add it to my GTS 450, No SLI because i cant, but ran 2 displays off the 460SE and 1 off the 450, would that work well?
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# RE: RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling PerformanceOlin Coles 2011-01-31 13:57
You would be better off with SLI GTS 450's.
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# RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling PerformanceQuickquestion 2011-01-31 16:20
But still probably crysis will not be playable I'm guessing, right?
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# RE: RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling PerformanceOlin Coles 2011-01-31 16:24
No, it won't. Running two different models of video card to drive two different monitors isn't possible, as far as I've tested.
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# SOLDQuickquestion 2011-08-22 21:32
Well, i know its a long time after, but ive actually given up on 3 screens and bought a single 560ti. I actually now only run one 1680X1050 screen. I never would have had room for 2 screens, and speakers. So i sold one screen, bought a 560ti and some SP2500 Speakers, and am very happy with this decision. The 560ti SHREDS everything i throw at it, Crysis 2 Extreme DX11 High Res textures, Multiplayer, 50+ FPS constant. Recording 35 Constant. Plus the 2500s have great audio positioning so they have helped me a lot. since i got them my K/D went up .6.
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# RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling Performancequickquestion 2011-01-31 16:49
I heard it was, but you probably have more testing than I do. Just wondering, would 2 GTX 460SE cards be able to handle 3 monitors and play crysis? On medium with No AA, but AA if possible. I mean like a pretty steady 35 FPS or something would be perfectly fine for me. I would also like to thank you for all your help throughout this discussion, as i am kind of new to graphics cards in SLI and multiple monitors.
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# RE: GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling PerformanceDoc 2011-08-22 04:08
$80 at Newegg with $20 rebate...whadda bargain!
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