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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.

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
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 1 GB / 768 MB
Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 1 GB
AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB
AMD Radeon HD 5750 1 GB
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 9.1.1.1019
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce 260.52
AMD Catalyst 10.8
Games
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