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Written by Mathew Williams   
Monday, 04 October 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCU TOP Video Card
NVIDIA Fermi Features
NVIDIA GF106 GPU Fermi Architecture
Closer Look: ASUS GTS 450 DirectCU TOP
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Resident Evil 5
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: BattleForge
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
ASUS ENGTS450 TOP Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
ASUS ENGTS450 TOP Overclocking
NVIDIA GTS 450 Final Thoughts
ASUS ENGTS450 TOP Conclusion

NVIDIA GF106 GPU Fermi Architecture

Based on the Fermi architecture, NVIDIA's latest GPU is codenamed GF106 and is equipped on the GeForce GTS 450. In this article, Benchmark Reviews explains the technical architecture behind NVIDIA's GF106 graphics processor and offers an insight into upcoming Fermi-based GeForce video cards. For those who are not familiar, NVIDIA's GF100 GPU was their first graphics processor to support DirectX-11 hardware features such as tessellation and DirectCompute, while also adding heavy particle and turbulence effects. The GF100 GPU is also the successor to the GT200 graphics processor, which launched in the GeForce GTX 280 video card back in June 2008. NVIDIA has since redefined their focus, allowing subsequent GF100, GF104, and now GF106 GPUs to prove their dedication towards next generation gaming effects such as raytracing, order-independent transparency, and fluid simulations.

While processor cores have grown from 128 (G80) and 240 (GT200), they reach 512 in the GF100 and earn the title of NVIDIA CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) cores. GF100 was not another incremental GPU step-up like we had going from G80 to GT200. GF100 featured 512 CUDA cores, while GF104 was capable of 336 cores. Effectively cutting the eight SMUs on GF104 in half, NVIDIA's GF106 is good for 192 CUDA cores from four SMUs. The key here is not only the name, but that the name now implies an emphasis on something more than just graphics. Each Fermi CUDA processor core has a fully pipelined integer arithmetic logic unit (ALU) and floating point unit (FPU). GF106 implements the IEEE 754-2008 floating-point standard, providing the fused multiply-add (FMA) instruction for both single and double precision arithmetic. FMA improves over a multiply-add (MAD) instruction by doing the multiplication and addition with a single final rounding step, with no loss of precision in the addition. FMA minimizes rendering errors in closely overlapping triangles.

GF106 implements 192 CUDA cores, organized as 8 SMs of 48 cores each. Each SM is a highly parallel multiprocessor supporting up to 32 warps at any given time (four Dispatch Units per SM deliver two dispatched instructions per warp for four total instructions per clock per SM). Each CUDA core is a unified processor core that executes vertex, pixel, geometry, and compute kernels. A unified L2 cache architecture (512KB on 1GB cards) services load, store, and texture operations. GF106 is designed to offer a total of 16 ROP units pixel blending, antialiasing, and atomic memory operations. The ROP units are organized in four groups of eight. Each group is serviced by a 64-bit memory controller. The memory controller, L2 cache, and ROP group are closely coupled-scaling one unit automatically scales the others.


NVIDIA Fermi GF106 Block Diagram

Based on Fermi's third-generation Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) architecture, GF106 could be considered a divided GF104. NVIDIA GeForce GF100-series Fermi GPUs are based on a scalable array of Graphics Processing Clusters (GPCs), Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs), and memory controllers. NVIDIA's GF100 GPU implemented four GPCs, sixteen SMs, and six memory controllers. GF104 implements two GPCs, eight SMs, and four memory controllers. Conversely, GF106 houses one GPC, four SMs, and two memory controllers. Where each SM contained 32 CUDA cores in the GF100, NVIDIA configured GF104 with 48 cores per SM... which has been repeated for GF106. As expected, NVIDIA Fermi-series products are launching with different configurations of GPCs, SMs, and memory controllers to address different price points.

CPU commands are read by the GPU via the Host Interface. The GigaThread Engine fetches the specified data from system memory and copies them to the frame buffer. GF106 implements two 64-bit GDDR5 memory controllers (128-bit total) to facilitate high bandwidth access to the frame buffer. The GigaThread Engine then creates and dispatches thread blocks to various SMs. Individual SMs in turn schedules warps (groups of 48 threads) to CUDA cores and other execution units. The GigaThread Engine also redistributes work to the SMs when work expansion occurs in the graphics pipeline, such as after the tessellation and rasterization stages.

GF106 Specifications

  • Up to 192 CUDA Cores
  • 4 Geometry Units
  • 1 Raster Units
  • 32 Texture Units
  • 16 ROP Units
  • 128-bit GDDR5
  • DirectX-11 API Support

GeForce 400-Series Specifications

Graphics Card

GeForce GTS 450

GeForce GTX 460

GeForce GTX 465

GeForce GTX 470

GeForce GTX 480

GPU Transistors 1.17 Billion 1.95 Billion 3.2 Billion 3.2 Billion 3.2 Billion

Graphics Processing Clusters

1 2




Streaming Multiprocessors

4 7 11



CUDA Cores

192 336 352



Texture Units

32 56 44



ROP Units

16 768MB=24 / 1GB=32 32



Graphics Clock
(Fixed Function Units)

783 MHz

675 MHz

607 MHz

607 MHz

700 MHz

Processor Clock
(CUDA Cores)

1566 MHz

1350 MHz

1215 MHz

1215 MHz

1401 MHz

Memory Clock
(Clock Rate/Data Rate)

902/3608 MHz

900/3600 MHz

837/3348 MHz

837/3348 MHz

924/3696 MHz

Total Video Memory

1024MB GDDR5

768MB / 1024MB GDDR5

1024MB GDDR5

1280MB GDDR5

1536MB GDDR5

Memory Interface

128-Bit 768MB=192 / 1GB=256-Bit




Total Memory Bandwidth

57.7 GB/s

86.4 / 115.2 GB/s

102.6 GB/s

133.9 GB/s

177.4 GB/s

Texture Filtering Rate

25.1 GigaTexels/s

37.8 GigaTexels/s

26.7 GigaTexels/s

34.0 GigaTexels/s

42.0 GigaTexels/s

GPU Fabrication Process

40 nm

40 nm

40 nm

40 nm

40 nm

Output Connections

2x Dual-Link DVI-I
1x Mini HDMI

2x Dual-Link DVI-I
1x Mini HDMI

2x Dual-Link DVI-I
1x Mini HDMI

2x Dual-Link DVI-I
1x Mini HDMI

2x Dual-Link DVI-I
1x Mini HDMI

Form Factor






Power Input


2x 6-Pin

2x 6-Pin

2x 6-Pin

6-Pin + 8-Pin

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

106 Watts 768MB=150W / 1GB=160W

200 Watts

215 Watts

250 Watts

Recommended PSU

400 Watts

450 Watts

550 Watts

550 Watts

600 Watts

GPU Thermal Threshold






GeForce Fermi Chart Courtesy of Benchmark Reviews



# RE: ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCU TOP Video CardSTON 2010-10-06 16:22
thx , great review always

DX11: Mafia II ?????
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# RE: RE: ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCU TOP Video CardOlin Coles 2010-10-06 17:33
I don't understand your question.
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# TOP tweak voltageshici 2010-11-28 03:58
what it means tweak voltage....?
i bought this version n i dunno what to setup for Vcore...
what is Vcore actually??
and can what happen if i slightly change the value of engine core?
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