Nvidia’s GeForce GTS 450 gets official

Partners unleashes an onslaught of new cards

NVIDIA HAS UNVEILED its latest addition to its 400-series of graphics cards with today’s introduction of the GeForce GTS 450, a card that’s set to be a direct replacement of the GTS 250. Every single Nvidia partner – including a few we weren’t even aware of – have announced cards today and just about all of them have launched both stock cards as well as overclocked versions for a an extra price premium.

Price wise the GTS 450 came in slightly cheaper than we estimated based on the European pricing with the cheapest cards starting at about $130, although some of the pre-overclocked versions are selling for as much as $165. This makes the GTS 450 a fairly poor deal when you consider that several 768MB GTX 460 cards are selling for $170, not taking into account any mail in rebates. In fact, with rebates you can get a GTX 460 for as little as $155 which starts to make the pre-overclocked GTS 450 cards look like a pretty poor deal.

On the ATI (sorry AMD) side of things the GTS 450 performs similar to the Radeon HD 5770 which retails for about $140, although once again with rebates you can pick up some cards for as little as $125. Judging by the benchmark figures, it really depends on the game you’re playing whether the GTS 450 or the 5770 comes out on top, at least as long as we’re talking overclocked GTS 450’s as the stock models are struggling to keep up.

This doesn’t seem to stop Nvidia’s partners though, as we’re seeing two to three different models from each and every partner. Unusually, most cards rely on custom PCB designs rather than sticking with Nvidia’s reference design and this adds another bonus, more ports around the back than the reference design. Most manufacturers have also come up with their own cooling solutions rather than using Nvidia’s reference cooling solution. Most notably is Palit who’s created a low-profile GTS 450 card, although we’re not sure as to what purpose as there isn’t going to be a huge demand for such a product. Sparkle has announced a passively cooled version which features a rather large heatsink and no less than four heatpipes.

One common “oddity” between the cards is that all of them are missing four memory chips from the PCB. This suggests that Nvidia will launch the rumoured GTS 455 with the potential of a wider memory bus and more memory. This seems like an odd move though as this would compete directly with the 768MB GTX 460, unless of course Nvidia will be withdrawing that product from the market in the future and replace it with the GTS 455. The other option would be a 768MB card using lower density memory, but this doesn’t seem to add up somehow. Unless you’re on a really tight budget, or don’t like AMD cards, the GTS 450 doesn’t seem like a fantastic deal, despite the reasonably affordable price, as for a little bit more money you could get a much better card.S|A

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