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

ECS Black GTS 450

Funny story: the roundup invitations we sent in the first week of September contained a typo, referring to the “GTX 450." ECS responded in kind by sending review samples of its NBGTS450-1GPI-F graphics cards with the label “Black GTX 450." The company later changed its package to reflect the actual model name, and the naming mystery encountered by other review sites has now been solved.

The Black GTS 450 uses Nvidia’s reference PCB design along with Arctic Cooling’s Accelero Twin Turbo Pro universal cooler. The reference PCB requires adapters to host VGA and full-sized DVI connectors, while the universal cooler transforms the card into a tripe-slot design.

The unfortunate side effect of using a universal cooler design is that it lacks clearance for onboard components like capacitors and voltage regulator chokes. Thus, while the finished product requires three slots of mounting space, one slot of that space is “wasted” between the sink and the card to prevent compatibility issues with other board designs. And yet, that space isn’t completely wasted, since it provides extra room for air to exit the sink.

ECS ties for third-place in clock frequency at 850MHz GPU, GDDR5-4000. While this setting isn’t very aggressive, the card’s oversized sink will allow buyers to test the upper-reaches of GPU overclocking without overheating.

ECS doesn’t, however, include an overclocking utility. Fortunately, one of its competitor’s collaborations with RivaTuner has made that universal software freely available to use with any brand of card.

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