PNY GeForce GTS 450 1GB XLR8 Review
For all intents and purposes, the GeForce GTS 450 1GB isn’t what we would call a high performance graphics card but it does fit well into NVIDIA’s current lineup. It competes exceedingly well against the HD 5750 and sometimes catches up with the HD 5770 which should make it appealing to a wide swath of the budget-conscious market.
Companies like ASUS, EVGA, MSI and Gigabyte have decided to release overclocked editions of the GTS 450 and in our initial reviews it was made quite apparent that value-added products will likely carry sales of this card. Instead of banking on higher clock speeds or price augmenting custom designs, some of NVIDIA’s board partners have decided to go a different way towards catching people’s interest: by adding items to the card’s bundles. PNY has done exactly this with their XLR8 series.
Even though the “accelerate” moniker placed on this PNY product may hint at higher performance, it is in fact a reference card with stock clock speeds. What really distinguish it from the competition are two main factors: PNY’s warranty and their included bundle. While their lifetime warranty is reserved for the GTX-branded NVIDIA cards, PNY still saddles their GTS 450 XLR8 with a 5-year warranty. This puts it head and shoulders above most of the competition. In addition, the bundle has been expanded to include a 14 day / 7 hour trial to StarCraft II and a pair of Sony movie downloads. We will be touching on the download service and ESEA membership a bit later in the review but for the time being, let’s just say they are worthwhile features.
It goes without saying that PNY’s departure from the usual “let’s overclock it and add a cool heatsink” mentality many board partners take is a breath of fresh air. Considering the XLR8 doesn’t cost any more than a reference card, things definitely look like they are on the right track.
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