|GeForce GTS 450 SLI Scaling Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 13 September 2010|
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DX10: 3DMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX10 graphics card performance. FutureMark 3DMark Vantage is the latest addition the 3DMark benchmark series built by FutureMark corporation. Although 3DMark Vantage requires NVIDIA PhysX to be installed for program operation, only the CPU/Physics test relies on this technology.
3DMark Vantage offers benchmark tests focusing on GPU, CPU, and Physics performance. Benchmark Reviews uses the two GPU-specific tests for grading video card performance: Jane Nash and New Calico. These tests isolate graphical performance, and remove processor dependence from the benchmark results.
3DMark Vantage GPU Test: Jane Nash
Of the two GPU tests 3DMark Vantage offers, the Jane Nash performance benchmark is slightly less demanding. In a short video scene the special agent escapes a secret lair by water, nearly losing her shirt in the process. Benchmark Reviews tests this DirectX-10 scene at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 resolutions, and uses Extreme quality settings with 8x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. The 1:2 scale is utilized, and is the highest this test allows. By maximizing the processing levels of this test, the scene creates the highest level of graphical demand possible and sorts the strong from the weak.
Jane Nash Extreme Quality Settings
Cost Analysis: Jane Nash (1680x1050)
3DMark Vantage GPU Test: New Calico
New Calico is the second GPU test in the 3DMark Vantage test suite. Of the two GPU tests, New Calico is the most demanding. In a short video scene featuring a galactic battleground, there is a massive display of busy objects across the screen. Benchmark Reviews tests this DirectX-10 scene at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 resolutions, and uses Extreme quality settings with 8x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. The 1:2 scale is utilized, and is the highest this test allows. Using the highest graphics processing level available allows our test products to separate themselves and stand out (if possible).
New Calico Extreme Quality Settings
Cost Analysis: New Calico (1680x1050)
Test Summary: If you examine the price to performance ratio between both tests, the GeForce GTX 460 offers the best value of any single graphics card followed by the GTS 450 SLI set. The closest competition to the SLI sets' $260 price point is a $270 Radeon HD 5850, which performs poorly compared to the less expensive pair. The same can be said for NVIDIA's own GTX 470 video card, which trails the GTS 450 SLI set in every test resolution. In fact, the New Calico tests forces a $365 Radeon HD 5870 to trail behind the GTS 450 SLI set as well. Obviously a $180 GeForce GTX 460 is the way to go for best single-card value, but the $260 GTS 450 SLI set is an excellent value for the performance it delivers.
In regard to SLI scaling, a single GTS 450 produced 16.0 FPS in the 1680x1050 Jane Nash test, compared to 30.3 FPS in SLI. The New Calico test rendered 14.2 FPS on a single GTS 450 while a pair of them produced 27.5 FPS. This is proof evident that NVIDIA's SLI technology has become extremely efficient, and can effectively double the performance of a single card without degradation.