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MSI N450GTS-M2D1GD5

Single-Slot Graphics: Whose Card Is Fastest?
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With two times the shaders of its GeForce GT 440, Nvidia’s GeForce GTS 450 presents the entry-level threshold for gaming enthusiasts. MSI goes big by making its reference-speed N450GTS-M2D1GD5 small, at half the thickness of its competitors.

The N450GTS-M2D1GD5 is the only product in today’s comparison to include a PCIe power connection, though the Radeon HD 6850 would have had one as well if Afox were targeting owners of PCI Express 1.x-equipped motherboards. More than likely this card would work better on previous-generation 75 W PCIe slots than its connector-reduced competitor, although such platforms are now several generations old, and probably not worth upgrading with a new GPU.

Like other GeForce GTS 450s, MSI’s single-slot version includes a single SLI bridge so that two cards can be paired together. While this certainly addresses the SLI capability of some two-slot mini gaming PCs, we’d probably jump straight from this to a doubly-powerful GeForce GTX 560 Ti if we had the extra slot to spare, thereby reading the rewards of a memory interface two times as wide. The SLI connector is nothing more than an upgrade path for people who didn’t really need a card this thin in the first place.

While most GeForce GTS 450 graphics cards are factory overclocked, a single-slot cooler leaves far less room to play with settings. MSI employs reference 783 MHz GPU and GDDR5-3608 frequencies in this model.

As the only board in today’s comparison to include two DVI connectors, the N450GTS-M2D1GD5 actually needs adapters to address other interfaces. VGA is present, even if not typically required, and full-sized HDMI is available through a mini-HDMI adapter.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    ta152h , June 1, 2011 4:32 AM
    I'm not sure this needed so many pages to state the obvious (a 6850 board was faster than 440 and 450 boards, the concept is a good one. There are a lot of areas that sites do not cover that should be, and many of them are logistical like this one.

    For example, there are few, if any, reviews on noiseless CPUs (meaning, fanless) and too few if any reviews on GPUs without fans. Small form factors have thankfully been addressed a bit, but some of the smallest sizes are still not represented well in reviews.

    Even if you are into killing evil Zargons with your pimped out main computer (which many are not anyway), there is still a cool factor of a computer that fits in your hand that can be used in other locations like a kitchen, or living room, or both since you can pick it up and move it easily.

    Articles like this, that might not pertain to a main computer (or may), are interesting, since most of us have several computers, and know several people that ask our assistance in making decisions, and there are often criteria like this involved.
  • 21 Hide
    Yuka , June 1, 2011 4:47 AM
    You could have also included a standard reference board of the 6850 and GTS450 to see if there were any differences in power draw, heat, noise and why not, performance.

    Still, I also like the idea of reviewing different approaches of hardware pieces. We all have different needs, so different hardware (forms) need to be addressed as well 8)

    Cheers!
  • 12 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , June 1, 2011 4:35 AM
    I've read up to but not including the benchmark results, but is there honestly any question as to which card will perform best? The HD6850 is in a completely different performance segment. I'm just impressed they were able to get it down to a single slot form factor.
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    ta152h , June 1, 2011 4:32 AM
    I'm not sure this needed so many pages to state the obvious (a 6850 board was faster than 440 and 450 boards, the concept is a good one. There are a lot of areas that sites do not cover that should be, and many of them are logistical like this one.

    For example, there are few, if any, reviews on noiseless CPUs (meaning, fanless) and too few if any reviews on GPUs without fans. Small form factors have thankfully been addressed a bit, but some of the smallest sizes are still not represented well in reviews.

    Even if you are into killing evil Zargons with your pimped out main computer (which many are not anyway), there is still a cool factor of a computer that fits in your hand that can be used in other locations like a kitchen, or living room, or both since you can pick it up and move it easily.

    Articles like this, that might not pertain to a main computer (or may), are interesting, since most of us have several computers, and know several people that ask our assistance in making decisions, and there are often criteria like this involved.
  • 12 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , June 1, 2011 4:35 AM
    I've read up to but not including the benchmark results, but is there honestly any question as to which card will perform best? The HD6850 is in a completely different performance segment. I'm just impressed they were able to get it down to a single slot form factor.
  • 4 Hide
    eklipz330 , June 1, 2011 4:35 AM
    wonderful idea for an article, for those who have cramped areas
  • 21 Hide
    Yuka , June 1, 2011 4:47 AM
    You could have also included a standard reference board of the 6850 and GTS450 to see if there were any differences in power draw, heat, noise and why not, performance.

    Still, I also like the idea of reviewing different approaches of hardware pieces. We all have different needs, so different hardware (forms) need to be addressed as well 8)

    Cheers!
  • 7 Hide
    Crashman , June 1, 2011 4:55 AM
    dragonsqrrlI've read up to but not including the benchmark results, but is there honestly any question as to which card will perform best? The HD6850 is in a completely different performance segment. I'm just impressed they were able to get it down to a single slot form factor.
    Afox wanted to present this to prove its solution viable. Lots of people thought it wouldn't work due to the missing 6-pin connector and tiny fan. A couple weeks after Afox released its card, PowerColor announced a single-slot version WITH the 6-pin connector so now you have three choices: Galaxy's 460, Afox's 6850, and PowerColor's 6850.

    The Tom's Hardware team put a lot of effort into getting as many companies onboard as possible for this. PowerColor should have been excluded since its product was actually too late to meet the test deadline, but that's a non-issue since the card didn't show up. And Galaxy, Galaxy Where Art Thou? You would think companies like that would be in touch with ALL the major sites, wouldn't you?
  • -1 Hide
    mister g , June 1, 2011 5:02 AM
    I was looking into these cards because I have a BTX case from Dell, Crashman just listed all the cards I was looking at except for the Afox. However I'm not likely to get any of these since the single slot comes with one big con, a price tag of at least $220.
  • 1 Hide
    jadavis1992 , June 1, 2011 5:06 AM
    Where is the Galaxy GTX 460 razor?
  • 1 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , June 1, 2011 5:12 AM
    CrashmanThe Tom's Hardware team put a lot of effort into getting as many companies onboard as possible for this. PowerColor should have been excluded since its product was actually too late to meet the test deadline, but that's a non-issue since the card didn't show up. And Galaxy, Galaxy Where Art Thou? You would think companies like that would be in touch with ALL the major sites, wouldn't you?

    I wasn't questioning the work ethic of Tom's Hardware's authors and reviewers, you guy's almost always deliver high-quality review material. But thanks for clarifying the situation.

    I really don't know what I would think, I'm completely unfamiliar with the process of acquiring test hardware from companies. Is this really unusual behavior from Galaxy and Power Color (ignoring or passing up a request to review one of their new products)?
  • -2 Hide
    Assmar , June 1, 2011 5:28 AM
    Cool. where can I get 4?
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , June 1, 2011 5:43 AM
    dragonsqrrlI wasn't questioning the work ethic of Tom's Hardware's authors and reviewers, you guy's almost always deliver high-quality review material. But thanks for clarifying the situation.I really don't know what I would think, I'm completely unfamiliar with the process of acquiring test hardware from companies. Is this really unusual behavior from Galaxy and Power Color (ignoring or passing up a request to review one of their new products)?
    I believe the OTHER companies simply didn't want to get "shown up" by the bigger card, where ECS and MSI sent a card they knew would lose the performance race in order to show off their lower power consumption and price.

    As for PowerColor, they said they sent one. Either they screwed up, or something happened to the card along the way. Either way, I wasn't going to worry about the cause of this conundrum since it was too late to deal with.

    I really don't know what's up with Galaxy. Chances are they might have simply cut their marketing department.
  • -5 Hide
    hmp_goose , June 1, 2011 6:42 AM
    Bought the MSI a few weeks ago, to replace a buzzzie nVidia GT220 from Zotac. The sound is not nearly as bad, but I guess that "woosh" sound isn't really quite …

    It drives a pair of 1080x1920 Samsungs. But they aren't the screes I game on. It does render .pdf a hell'of'a lot faster…

    Glad I picked the better of the two nVidias!
  • 3 Hide
    dormantreign , June 1, 2011 6:46 AM
    Clearly can tell you guys were pissed at not receiving the other card samples :p 
  • 0 Hide
    Kaboose , June 1, 2011 7:55 AM
    On the Page
    Benchmark Results: F1 2010
    Noticed a typo on the F1 2010 1080 chart.
    Resolution is listed as 1800 not 1080
  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , June 1, 2011 8:23 AM
    Crashie in articleWhile older games often suffer from latencies higher than CAS 9 at DDR3-1600, those bottlenecks only occur during moderate graphics loads.


    Do you have a link to an article or something with regards to this? I've not heard of latency induced performance bottlenecks in recent years (then again I'm running C7 parts)
  • -2 Hide
    Luscious , June 1, 2011 8:26 AM
    You could get dual-slot cards like the GTX580 to fit with a water-block. The only issue is most water blocks are again a 2 or 3 slot solution once you add SLI fittings. I'd love to build a SR-2 with seven GTX580 cards for a folding rig. Except the only thing holding a project like that back is finding a water block that offers practical connections for zero-slot spacing. Koolance/Swiftech/EKG are you listening?
  • 4 Hide
    blibba , June 1, 2011 8:36 AM
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , June 1, 2011 9:01 AM
    neiroatopelccDo you have a link to an article or something with regards to this? I've not heard of latency induced performance bottlenecks in recent years (then again I'm running C7 parts)
    It's in one of the System Builder Marathon $2000 builds, where we picked the "legendary" Crucial RAM and got a new, sucky, high-density version instead. The new stuff was stuck at DDR3-1333 CAS 9, and Far Cry 2 suffered most by comparison to a previous system with the same graphics card.

    That sounds worthy of an article but it's not, because the Far Cry 2 settings that showed the huge performance difference were far lower than anyone would use with those graphics cards. We're talking about way more than 100 FPS for the "slow" system. In other words, it's not a realistic test scenario and should be ignored.
  • 0 Hide
    fyasko , June 1, 2011 9:03 AM
    the title should read, "whose card is fastest without killing your eardrums?"
  • -3 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , June 1, 2011 9:05 AM
    okay so the timing issue really isn't worth mentioning? Good. Explains why I haven't heard about it before.

    ps. usually only browse thru the smb articles to see if I agree with your hardware picks - mostly don't bother reading the blah blah surrounding it.
  • 3 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , June 1, 2011 10:29 AM
    id like to start seeing Witcher 2 used as a benchmark.
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