Nvidia GeForce GTS 450: Hello GF106, Farewell G92

Test System And Benchmarks

Before you fly off to the comments section to vent about the number of mainstream users with $1000 CPUs, remember that the effect of our test system's powerful CPU is just as easily achieved (if not surpassed) by a mainstream Core i7-750 overclocked to 4 GHz+. The goal, of course, is to alleviate any potential processor-based bottleneck in single- and dual-card modes. Had we in fact used an entry-level processor to purposely create a more cost-effective platform, the following results would have fallen closer together, but they would have been less informative.

Bear in mind that we're also not testing overclocking here. Unless our samples are retail (a la System Builder Marathon, where we buy all of our parts through Newegg), I find it disingenuous to publish overclocking results from a hand-picked batch of boards. I'll relay that Nvidia claims to be hitting 900 MHz+ on GF106 in the lab, but that is no guarantee of what you'll see at home.

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Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i7-980X (Gulftown) 3.33 GHz, 6.4 GT/s, 12 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings enabled. Turbo Boost enabled
MotherboardGigabyte X58A-UD5 (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10, BIOS F5
MemoryKingston HyperX DDR3 (3 x 2 GB) KHX2000C8D3T1K3/6GX @ DDR3-1333 7-7-7-24
Hard DriveIntel SSDSA2MH160G2C1 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
Graphics CardsNvidia GeForce GTS 450 1 GB
Row 5 - Cell 0 Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 1 GB / 768 MB
Row 6 - Cell 0 Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 1 GB
Row 7 - Cell 0 AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB
Row 8 - Cell 0 AMD Radeon HD 5750 1 GB
Row 9 - Cell 0 AMD Radeon HD 4850 512 MB
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP 1100 W
CPU CoolerIntel DBX-B Thermal Solution
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectXDirectX 11
Platform DriverIntel INF Chipset Update Utility
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce 260.52
Row 17 - Cell 0 AMD Catalyst 10.8
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CrysisVery High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1900x1200, DirectX 10, Patch 1.2.1, 64-bit executable
Just Cause 2Highest Quality Settings, No AA / 16xAF, 4xAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200, Bokeh filter and GPU water disabled (for Nvidia cards), Desert Sunrise Benchmark
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200, Second Sun, 45 second sequence, FRAPS
DiRT 2High / Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 8xAA / No AF, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200, Steam version, Custom benchmark script, DX11 Rendering
Aliens Vs. Predator BenchmarkHighest Quality Settings, SSAO, 1xMSAA / 16xAF, 4xMSAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200
Battlefield: Bad Company 2Custom (Highest) Quality Settings, 1xAA / 16xAF, 4x MSAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200, opening cinematic, 145 second sequence, FRAPS
3DMark VantagePerformance Default, PPU Disabled
Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • Poisoner
    Man, G92 still holds it own. What an amazing piece of technology.
  • welshmousepk
    Slightly underwhelming to be honest. the GTX 460 seems like a way better choice. or a 5770.
  • IzzyCraft
    Well now that it is competing with the 5750 maybe they will push both down to $100 and we wouldn't need to buy old G92 or R700's :D
  • teeoneimme
    anyone else NOT so excited about this card?
  • skora
    As Chris pointed out with Tessellation, DX11 isn't going anywhere fast with the programmers. I'd say still go for a 1gb 4850 or CF two and really have a powerful GPU subsystem for the $200-$220 price point. By the time they are aged, you'll have 2nd gen DX11 GPUs out and the software will finally be available to use them.
  • eklipz330
    im still chuggin along on my hd 4850... and if i ever needed to, i can crossfire another one for a mere $90, these cards have been overpriced for a year

    its a shame that ati's cards didn't drop in MSRP. hell, the hd 5850 is finally approaching it;s MSRP of $250 from a year ago. I was hopign last year by around this time, hd 5870 would be ~$200... it's not even close =
  • Jzcaesar
    Man, I was hoping to see some overclocking; hopefully, they'll be included in another article. But I agree with Chris: the 450 is a bit disappointing at $130.
  • one-shot
    YAWWWWNN....This card is putting me to sleep. I'm going to bed.
  • duk3
    I'd like a gtx 460 maxcore.
    Perhaps a gtx 485 aka gtx 460 X2 would be nice as well.
  • sandypants
    Just bought a second 4870 1 GB to complete my CF setup which was planned 1.5 years ago. Only $130 from Newegg. 4870 vs 450 is not a tough choice if you are buying for a dedicated gaming rig. The 4000 series are still very adequate.