Sparkle ONE GTS 450 1GB OC Single Slot Review
With all of the new products being introduced into NVIDIA’s lineup, the prices of many 400-series cards have been falling with meteoric speed. As a result, the GTS 450 has found itself playing second fiddle to higher-end GTX 460s which can be bought for under $130 after rebates are applied. The $120 GTS 450 looked completely overpriced and outmatched but prices have gradually fallen in line with expectations and recently hit a highly affordable target of $90 to $110.
Naturally, the possibility of buying an efficient mid-range graphics card for about a hundred bucks is an appealing prospect and our interest was piqued. Most partner cards have adhered to the reference design and clock speeds but we found some very unique GTS 450s that cater to certain markets. One of these is the foremost product in Sparkle’s new ONE series of HTPC-oriented single slot cards.
Dubbed the GTS 450 ONE OC Edition, Sparkle has fundamentally departed from the reference design in order to create a card with a focus on optimal thermal dissipation in a single slot form factor. We have already seen this goal achieved with XFX’s HD 5770 Single Slot but there is always a price premium and a drop in overall cooling performance involved.
Sparkle’s goals for this card reflect those of XFX’s aforementioned HD 5770 but with a few additional challenges thrown in for good measure. In this case, the single slot GTS 450 has been given a very slight core speed bump and the memory has also been overclocked. We don’t expect much in the way of a performance increase but the increase in thermal output may have some effect on temperatures. As expected this card also holds a $20 premium over most reference cards on the market. That may not sound like much but in this price bracket, every dollar counts.
The GTS 450 ONE OC seems to have the features some users are looking for but it will be interesting to see whether this card is really worth the extra money.
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