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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

NVIDIA APEX PhysX Enhancements

Many of the latest video games are being developed with new graphical enhancement technologies, such as APEX PhysX and 3D-Vision Surround. Each of these NVIDIA technologies are designed to work their best on GeForce desktop graphics solutions, but only the most powerful GPUs can make the special effects stand out in full glory. While a single GeForce GTS 450 may not have enough power to enable all of the quality settings to their highest levels, two of these video cards combined into SLI open the possibilities.

Mafia II is the first PC video game title to include the new NVIDIA APEX PhysX framework, a powerful feature set that only GeForce video cards are built do deliver. While console versions will make use of PhysX, only the PC version supports NVIDIA's APEX PhysX physics modeling engine, which adds the following features: APEX Destruction, APEX Clothing, APEX Vegetation, and APEX Turbulence. PhysX helps make object movement more fluid and lifelike, such as cloth and debris. In this section, Benchmark Reviews details the differences made with- and without APEX PhysX enabled.

We begin with a scene from the Mafia II benchmark test, which has the player pinned down behind a brick column as the enemy shoots at him. Examine the image below, which was taken with a Radeon HD 5850 configured with all settings turned to their highest and APEX PhysX support disabled:


No PhysX = Cloth Blending and Missing Debris

Notice from the image above that when PhysX is disabled there is no broken stone debris on the ground. Cloth from foreground character's trench coat blends into his leg and remains in a static position relative to his body, as does the clothing on other (AI) characters. Now inspect the image below, which uses the GeForce GTX 460 with APEX PhysX enabled:


Realistic Cloth and Debris - High Quality Settings With PhysX

With APEX PhysX enabled, the cloth neatly sways with the contour of a characters body, and doesn't bleed into solid objects such as body parts. Additionally, APEX Clothing features improve realism by adding gravity and wind effects onto clothing, allowing for characters to look like they would in similar real-world environments.


Burning Destruction Smoke and Vapor Realism

Flames aren't exactly new to video games, but smoke plumes and heat vapor that mimic realistic movement have never looked as real as they do with APEX Turbulence. Fire and explosions added into a destructible environment is a potent combination for virtual-world mayhem, showcasing the new PhysX APEX Destruction feature.


Exploding Glass Shards and Bursting Flames

NVIDIA PhysX has changed video game explosions into something worthy of cinema-level special effects. Bursting windows explode into several unique shards of glass, and destroyed crates bust into splintered kindling. Smoke swirls and moves as if there's an actual air current, and flames move out towards open space all on their own. Surprisingly, there is very little impact on FPS performance with APEX PhysX enabled on GeForce video cards, and very little penalty for changing from medium (normal) to high settings.



# 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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