NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 1GB Single & SLI Review
Since the release of their 400-series of graphics cards, NVIDIA has been concentrating upon the mid to high end markets with the GTX 480, GTX 470, GTX 465 and the GTX 460. By and large, they have been extremely successful at hitting the right price and performance points with most of these new products. In particular, the GTX 460 1GB and 768MB cards with their updated GF104 core have proven to be an absolute perfect fit for the current economic climate.
While nearly all of NVIDIA’s bases are covered at the price points above $150, there is still a significant portion of the market that has yet to see a DX11-totting GeForce branded product. Traditionally, enthusiast and high performance cards yield significant profits regardless of their lower volume sales but the bread and butter of any graphics chip manufacturer lies in the sub-$150 category. ATI’s HD 5750 and HD 5600-series cards completely own the high volume mid and entry level tiers and NVIDIA needed a response as soon as possible. Their answer is the new GF106 core and the first card to use it is the GTS 450 1GB.
As should be apparent by its $129 price, the GTS 450 isn’t intended to be a card that will appeal to enthusiasts who want cutting edge performance and technology. Rather, it caters to people who play on 22” and smaller displays which (according to Valve’s latest hardware survey) just happens to be the vast majority of the gaming population.
A replacement for the G92 equipped cards like the 8800 GT, 9800 GT, 8800 GTS, 9800 GTX and GTS 250 has been a long time coming but this is exactly what NVIDIA hopes the GTS 450 1GB will accomplish. With a $129 price, it will take over for the GTS 250 which currently retails for an admittedly inflated $110 for the 512MB version and $130 for the 1GB product. The GTS 450 should also provide a quick and inexpensive upgrade path for those of you who are finally willing to give up your legendary 8800 GT cards. Naturally, this also means ATI’s own $130 HD 5750 will have some much-needed DX11 competition as well.
The GTS 450 1GB promises to do many things; from being the perfect entry level, gamer-oriented GPU to allowing HTPC users access to features such as Blu-ray 3D and native HD audio decoding. Make no mistake about it though: this price point is rife with competition so NVIDIA needs to tread a very thin line in order to guarantee this card success.
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