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Written by Hank Tolman   
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI N450GTS Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Card
Closer Look: MSI GeForce GTS 450
N450GTS Cyclone Detailed Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Street Fighter IV
DX10: Far Cry 2
DX10: Resident Evil 5
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.2
MSI N450GTS Cyclone Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
Overclocking the GTS 450
GeForce GTS 450 Final Thoughts
MSI N450GTS Cyclone Conclusion

VGA Testing Methodology

The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, which is 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. Many 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 September 2010, the most popular gaming resolution is 1680x1050 (22-24" widescreen LCD) with 1280x1024 (17-19" standard LCD monitors) close behind. Here at Benchmark Reviews, we like to push things a little further, so our tests will be conducted at 1920x1080. Most of the tests will also include results at 1680x1050. Our site polls and statistics indicate that the over 90% of our visitors use their PC for playing video games, and practically every one of you are using a screen resolutions mentioned above. Since all of the benchmarks we use for testing represent different game engine technology and graphic rendering processes, this battery of tests will provide a diverse range of results for you to gauge performance on your own computer system.

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.

At the start of all tests, the previous display adapter driver is uninstalled and trace components are removed using Driver Cleaner Pro. We then restart the computer system to establish our display settings and define the monitor. Once the hardware is prepared, we begin our testing. In 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.

DX11 Cost to Performance Ratio MSI_N450GTS_GPUZ.png

For this article Benchmark Reviews has included cost per FPS for graphics performance results. Only the least expensive product price is calculated, and does 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. These retail prices for each product were obtained from NewEgg.com on 01-November-2010:

  • $115 GeForce GTS 250 512MB (9800GTX+)
  • $140 GeForce GTS450 1GB (MSI GTS450 Cyclone)
  • $145 Radeon HD 5770 1GB (PowerColor 1GBD5-PPG)
  • $260 GeForce GTX 285 1GB

Test System

  • Motherboard: Biostar TA890GXB-HD (890GX/SB850)
  • Processor: AMD Athlon-II X4-645 3.1GHz (ADX645WFGMBOX)
  • CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen II
  • System Memory: 2x2GB Patriot Gamer Series DDR3 (1333MHz@7-7-7-21)
  • Primary Drive: Filemate Solid GO 60GB SSD
  • Power Supply Unit: OCZ Z-Series Gold 850W OCZZ850 Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W
  • Monitor: 23-Inch Widescreen LCD (up to 1920x1080@60Hz)Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Rev 1.1 (F7c BIOS)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional

DirectX-10 Benchmark Applications

  • 3DMark Vantage v1.02 (High Quality, 8x Anti Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, 1:2 Scale)
  • Far Cry 2 v1.03 (DX10, Ultra High Performance, Ultra High Quality, 8x Anti-Aliasing, HDR + Bloom)
  • Resident Evil 5 Benchmark (DX10, High Quality, 8x MSAA)
  • Street Fighter IV Benchmark (High Quality, 8x AA, 16x AF, Parrallel Rendering)

DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications

  • Aliens vs Predator (High Quality, 8x AA, 16x AF, SSAO, Tessellation, Advanced Shadows)
  • BattleField: Bad Company 2 (High Quality, 4x Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Single-Player Intro Scene)
  • Lost Planet 2 (High Quality, AAA, 16x AF, Benchmark Tool)
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.2 (DX11, High Tessellation, 8x AF, 16x AA)

Video Card Test Products

  • MSI GeForce 9800 GTX+ / GTS 250 (740 MHz GPU/1836 MHz Shader/1100 MHz vRAM - Forceware 260.63)
  • MSI GeForce GTX 285 (670 MHz GPU/1550 MHz Shader/1330 MHz vRAM - Forceware 260.63)
  • PowerColor Radeon HD 5770 1GBD5-PPVG2 (875MHz GPU/1225 MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 10.9)
  • MSI N450GTS GTS450 Cyclone 1GB (850 MHz GPU/1700 MHz Shader/1000 MHz vRAM - Forceware 260.63)

Graphics Card

GeForce 9800 GTX+

GeForce GTX285

GeForce GTS450

PowerColor Radeon HD 5770 PPG

GPU Cores

128

240

192

800

Core Clock (MHz)

740

670

850

875

Shader Clock (MHz)

1836

1550

1700

N/A

Memory Clock (MHz)

1100

1300

1000

1225

Memory Amount

512 MB GDDR3

1024MB GDDR3

1024MB GDDR3

1024MB GDDR5

Memory Interface

256-bit

512-bit

128-bit

128-bit



 

Comments 

 
# RE: MSI N450GTS Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video CardRealNeil 2010-11-11 09:55
"CUDA and PhysX compatibility may be a deal breaker if you are interested in these things"

I feel like it's something that I have to be interested in. We don't know how many new game developers will cleave to these standards yet. So buying a card that can't display either one is not the smart choice as I see it. If both ATI and NVIDIA could do both, then the choice would come down to performance and power/heat issues. That isn't the case.

The few games that I have now with CUDA and PhysX enabled are nice eye-candy and I like the technology.

Thanks for another good review.
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