ASUS GeForce GTS 450 1GB DirectCU TOP Review
For all launch day coverage, click the following links:
GTS 450 1GB Single & SLI Review, CLICK HERE (Folding @ Home testing included)
EVGA GTS 450 1GB FTW Single & SLI Review CLICK HERE
Gigabyte GTS 450 1GB Review CLICK HERE
The GeForce GTS 450 1GB may be an inauspicious card to the crowd of people who live and die in the enthusiast mindset but to most of the market, it represents very good performance for a minimal investment. NVIDIA has also given their board partners the green light to release a vast number of overclocked and non-reference designs come launch day. These new versions have been helped along by the GTS 450’s abundant willingness to overclock to extremely high levels.
ASUS is following on the heels of their competition by introducing a number of GTS 450s into the market. Naturally, there will be a reference version but the product we are more interested in is their TOP Edition which comes with a custom heatsink design dubbed “DirectCu”. In the longstanding tradition of ASUS cards, the TOP series has always been synonymous with high clock frequencies and cutting edge design. They have now taken this mantra and applied it to their $149 GTS 450 TOP.
Not only does the GTS 450 1GB TOP come with high flying clock speeds and a wicked-looking heatsink but additional changes have also been made. Not satisfied with the canvas given to them by NVIDIA’s reference design, ASUS went back to the drawing board and have designed a card which has the ability to far outstrip its price point. Along with their Xtreme Design VGA initiative (more on this later on in the review), an expanded and improved power distribution layout was added in order to better cope with higher clock speeds. ASUS also includes their SmartDoctor overclocking software which will help push the outer limits of this GTS 450’s design.
We have already seen some companies like Palit announcing their own custom GTS 450 versions but many of their changes have been made to cut costs. ASUS on the other hand charges a slight price premium and yet adds features that improve upon the card and its overall performance. To us, this looks like a winning combination.
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