Product Gainward GeForce GTS450 GS GLH
System Specifications Nvidia GeForce GTS450, 930MHz core, 2,000MHz memory, 1GB GDDR5, HDMI-out, dual VGA and DVI outputs
Price £197 including VAT
AS NVIDIA launched its GeForce GTS450 line, there were both generic and 'performance enhanced' cards to pick from, the latter of course at a slight premium. Now, if you're going for extra performance, you'd usually prefer to spend a little more and just go for the GTX460, if you are in the Nvidia camp. But if all the budget allows is a GTS450, and you've still got a few - literally a few - extra bucks to spend, then a bit of the extra performance from a souped-up GTS450 might not be a bad idea. Here's exactly such a solution - the Gainward GTS450 GS GLH ('Golden Sample' that 'Goes Like Hell').
The GTS450 is an even smaller card than the GTX460, its more powerful sibling. The 1GB of GDDR5 video memory here sits on a 128-bit bus, unlike the 256-bit bus on the GTX460. The number of shader cores, at 192 versus 336, is cut nearly in half. But then, so are the power consumption and heat output, letting those remaining shaders run at a bit higher speed anyway.
In fact, on the Gainward GS GLH, the speed is quite a bit higher - we're talking about whopping 930MHz here, or over 16 per cent higher speed per shader than the recent Gainward GTX460 GS GLH we tested. The memory runs at the same GDDR5-4000 as the GTX460 unit, but at half the bus width. Now, this shader speed is also a fifth faster than the generic 783MHz GTS450 speed, with a similar memory speed boost from 3600 to 4000.
As usual, Gainward used the same PCB and cooling as the default card, since it seems sufficient. The standard HDMI 1.4a, dual DVI and VGA outputs are also there.
We ran the card in the same Intel Core i7-870 with Asus Maximus III Gene mainboard setup as the GTX460 GS GLH to observe the performance difference between the two, and the results are as follows:
GTX460 GS GLH: P17809, X7760
GTS450 GS GLH: P11935, X5197
GTX460 GS GLH: 36.8
GTS450 GS GLH: 25.9
As you can see, the board comes to about two thirds in performance of the highest end GTX460 GS GLH. Not bad at all, for two thirds of the price, too. Gainward has introduced a pretty affordable yet decent performing card with the GTS450 GS GLH. In fact, this level of performance is the basic speed likely to be expected by anyone who, early next year, plans on upgrading the graphics on a Sandy Bridge or AMD Fusion desktop setup. The integrated graphics of these new CPUs will have at least twice the performance of the best current integrated GPU solutions, so a discrete graphics card upgrade must perform well enough to justify the money and effort. µ
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