Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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NVIDIA and their AIB partners released the latest card in the FERMI product stack just a over two weeks ago with the introduction of the GTS 450. The GTS 450 fits neatly into the $130 price/performance point where the majority of gamers spend their video card dollars. This price point is where video cards that can handle resolutions up to 1680 x 1050 are found. This version of the modular FERMI architecture is designed to be the replacement for the much maligned GTS 250 (For the reason of it being a victim of a renaming backlash that was done to streamline its product stack more than its actual performance characteristics) and fill that price and performance void in which NVIDIA was not currently competing. Packing a single GPU cluster with 192 CUDA cores and 1GB of GDDR5 memory, the performance has been shown to put it in the ballpark. Palit has a total of three versions of this card that go from bone stock to the fastest factory clocked GTS 450 currently available. The Sonic Platinum edition comes with clock speeds of 930/1860Mhz on the fixed function units and CUDA cores and a 1000Mhz clock on the 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The cards the GTS 450 is meant to compete with are the HD 5770 and HD 5750. In this review we will find out how the performance of this highly clocked Sonic Platinum edition stacks up with the competition from ATI.
The front panel of the packaging shows the silhouette of an engine that has the Palit graphics engine logo on it. This gives the impression that you have a powerful graphics card within the confines of the box. Knowing the past performance of Palit's Sonic Series video cards, the link to a high performance engine is justified. The badge to the right side of the panel shows that this is not just the "Sonic" edition but the "Sonic Platinum" edition which comes with yet another bump in performance via higher clock speeds. The green background coloration usually lets you know what brand card you are getting. Palit uses green for NVIDIA and red for ATI based graphics cards. But then with the ATI name going, away will the color change? Who knows. Along the bottom edge is a list of NVIDIA specific technologies that this card supports such as PhysX, CUDA, 3D Vision and SLI as well as being DirectX 11 capable. The back side of the package has more detail on the Geforce specific technologies as well as a short listing of the technical specifications of this card in multiple languages.
Inside the outer shell you have a plain cardboard box that houses the Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum edition video card. The card is sealed in a static free bubble wrap style bag and is held securely in place with cardboard walls folded strategically so that the form is structurally rigid (with some give) to prevent damage in transit. Pretty much standard for the Palit lineup. I have never been a fan of this style of packaging, preferring a foam insert instead. But, I have yet to have a card from Palit arrive DOA so this method seems to work.
The contents of the package includes the Palit GTS 450, an installation guide, driver disk and a dual four pin molex to six pin PCIe connector to power this card (in case you do not have a PCIe connection on your power supply). The accessory bundle is slim but you can't expect the world when the card is at the entry level for gamers albeit at a higher clocked entry level.
The Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum edition looks like it will be a strong performer based on the clock speed differential. If the performance of ASUS's Direct CU TOP card (that has slightly lower clock speeds than this card) are any indication, then this card should be even better. Just how much better remains to be seen.