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GeForce GTS 450 O/C Roundup: Six Custom-Tuned Cards


We’ve seen several solutions from several companies, yet we still need to decide which card is the best buy. Asus has the highest clock, MSI has the lowest price, and Zotac offers the best warranty. How much are each of these factors really worth?

Normally, we consider a lifetime warranty to be worth around $20 more than a 3-year warranty, and that valuation would put Zotac in the lead. The card also has several exclusive features that could put it on top, such as a DisplayPort connection and full-sized HDMI, in combination with twin dual-link DVI outputs. Another compelling feature is its shorter length and standard height, dimensions that allow it to fit into a wider variety of systems. Put all of those together with the second-highest factory overclock (generating temperatures well below thermal limits), and the oversized coolers of its competitors begin to look more like gimmick than value.

Yet we can’t give Zotac an award, at least not yet in the U.S., since poor availability makes it extremely difficult to buy. That leaves Asus and MSI as top picks for U.S. buyers who need a card right now, depending on how important efficiency is to you.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.