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Conclusion

The GeForce GTS 450 supports Nvidia SLI technology and shows high scalability in multi-GPU mode. The average frame rate of the SLI tandem was an average 70-75% higher than that of the single card depending on the resolution. In some tests we've observed a performance growth of 100% and more. You can see this in the following diagrams which also indicate the competitiveness of that SLI tandem against the GeForce GTX 470 and Radeon HD 5870/5850.

It may seem that the GeForce GTS 450 SLI is quite an appealing solution compared to the more advanced single-chip cards, but we must note a couple of disappointing facts about it. First, this SLI tandem had a lower bottom speed than its single-GPU opponents in some games. This made the gameplay uncomfortable in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, for example. Second, the GeForce GTS 450 SLI would generally slow down more than its opponents at the resolution of 2560x1600. And third, we had some incompatibility issues typical of multi-GPU solutions. We could not launch Lost Planet 2 at all using the latest version of the Nvidia GeForce driver, and there may be other such games.

All of this makes the GeForce GTS 450 SLI a far less appealing alternative to a single GeForce GTX 470 or Radeon HD 5870, even though it may cost somewhat less money. Such a configuration may be an option for a two-step upgrade when you add a second GeForce GTS 450 to your existing one in order to increase your computer’s graphics performance, yet we still think purchasing a GeForce GTX 470 would be a better investment as it is easier to use and free from compatibility issues.

We also do not expect a dual-processor GF106-based card to be released unless some major graphics card maker takes a fancy to experiment.

ASUS ENGTX450 DirectCU TOP Summary

Talking about the specific product, the ASUS ENGTX450 DirectCU TOP has left a positive impression on us, just like its senior cousin ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP that we reviewed earlier. The single downside is that the operation algorithm of its fan does not make the card is quiet as it theoretically could be. Otherwise, it is a high-quality GeForce GTS 450 equipped with a high-performance cooler and offering a higher speed than the reference card thanks to factory overclocking. You won’t be disappointed with it if you want a GeForce GTS 450.

Highs:

  • High performance for its price range;
  • Significantly outperforms GeForce GTS 450 at reference clock speeds;
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Improved CSAA/TMAA quality;
  • Minimal effect of FSAA on performance;
  • CUDA and PhysX support;
  • Fully-fledged hardware HD video decoding;
  • High-quality HD video post-processing with scalability;
  • HDMI 1.3a support;
  • Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support;
  • Super efficient cooling system.

 Lows:

  • Relatively large size;
  • Significant noise in 3D mode;
  • Doesn’t support more than two monitors;
  • Lacks TMUs in some situations;
  • Lower quality of video playback compared against the primary competitor.
 
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