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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

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 1920x1080 and 1680x1050 resolutions, and uses high quality settings with 8x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. The 1:2 scale is utilized, and is the highest this test allows. These settings allow for the GPUs in the test to be stressed sufficiently.

MSI_N450GTS_Nash.jpg

Cost Analysis: Jane Nash (1920x1080)

  • $115 GeForce GTS 250 512MB (9800GTX+) = $11.48 per FPS
  • $140 GeForce GTS 450 1GB (MSI Cyclone) = $8.97 per FPS
  • $145 Radeon HD 5770 1GB (PowerColor 1GBD5-PPVG2) = $8.90 per FPS
  • $260 GeForce GTX 285 1GB = $13.42 per FPS

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 1920x1080 and 1680x1050 resolutions, and uses high quality settings with 8x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. The 1:2 scale is utilized, and is the highest this test allows.

MSI_N450GTS_Calico.jpg

Cost Analysis: New Calico (1920x1080)

  • $115 GeForce GTS 250 512MB (9800GTX+) = $11.81 per FPS
  • $140 GeForce GTS 450 1GB (MSI Cyclone) = $9.50 per FPS
  • $145 Radeon HD 5770 1GB (PowerColor 1GBD5-PPVG2) = $11.22 per FPS
  • $260 GeForce GTX 285 1GB = $13.42 per FPS

Test Summary: The 3DMark Vantage tests thoroughly stress even the strongest GPUs, as can be witnessed by the less than stellar 19.37 FPS in the Jane Nash test achieved by our strongest GPU in the testbed, the GTX 285. The two GPU tests in the 3DMark Vantage suite seem torn when it comes to deciding a winner between the similarly priced Radeon HD 5770 and the MSI N450GTS Cyclone. In the Jane Nash test, the Radeon HD 5770 ekes out slight gains over the MSI N450GTS Cyclone, but in amounts of less than 1 FPS. Still, at these low frames, the Radeon is more than 4% faster than the GTS 450, putting it outside of the margin of error. In the Calico tests, the MSI N450GTS Cyclone outperforms the Radeon HD 5770 by nearly 14% at 1920x1080. Through the 3DMark Vantage tests, it's difficult to decide a winner, but the slightly lower price of the MSI N450GTS Cyclone and its performance in the more challenging Calico test give it a better cost per FPS ratio.

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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