Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum Reviewccokeman -
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Palit continues to impress with their GTS 450 Sonic Platinum edition factory overclocked video card. It comes to you the consumer with overclocked speeds that make it one of (if not the fastest) GTS 450 you can buy. This card does come in two different performance levels. The Sonic clocked at 880Mhz on the CUDA cores and 975Mhz (3900Mhz effective) and the Platinum Edition that comes in with a massive 930Mhz on the CUDA cores and 1000Mhz on the 1GB of GDDR5 memory (4000MHz effective). With those numbers, it puts up winning performance against stock and lower clocked cards. When you put the screws to it, the GTS 450 Sonic Platinum Edition has even more overclocking headroom to squeeze all the available graphics horsepower out of the card. The factory core clock of 930Mhz is only 45Mhz lower than the maximum overclock achieved with the comparison GTS 450's. That being said, I was able to pull another 76Mhz from the cores to get over the 1Ghz hurdle and managed a 190Mhz more from the 1GB of memory. This added another level of performance to help differentiate the performance of the GTS 450 lineup. Stock is nice but there is much more to be had. On a percentage basis, the clock speed increase over the default 930Mhz equates to just over 8% worth of overclocking headroom left for the enthusiast to play with. The memory saw an increase of 19% over the Platinum Edition's factory stock clock speeds. When you look at the bump over the reference card's 783/902Mhz, those numbers become even more impressive.
The cooling solution used by Palit to keep this card cool is compact and incredibly functional for a small two heat pipe-based cooling solution. When compared to the stock extruded aluminum heat sink, the Palit saw a three degree Celsius improvement when the driver and card's BIOS are controlling the fan speed. Ratchet up the fan speeds and the cooling solution on the Palit Sonic Platinum Edition is an impressive 12 degrees Celsius better in the cooling department while under load. It seems just about every adjustable fan is going to start screaming in protest at 100% fan speeds. The reference cards being by far the worst offenders. However, the fan used by Palit is audible but is not overly annoying, even at max speed. There is no high pitched wail telling you it's there, just a gentle hum when sealed up in a chassis. Once the fan speed is down to 75%, it becomes a non-issue.
This card goes a little further in its ability to connect to just about every display type save DisplayPort right out of the box with its DVI, D-sub and HDMI connections. The Palit GTS 450 (just like the GTX 460) offers bitstreaming support for Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio over HDMI. This way, you can send your high def sound out with the high def picture using only a single cable. The GTS 450 is the replacement for the GTS 250 in NVIDIA's product stack and is aimed right for the gamers that play with resolutions from 1290 x 1024 to 1680 x 1050. At these levels, the card delivers excellent performance with the eye candy on in most of the games tested so you can play with settings cranked up a bit higher. Loosen the settings up a little and this card will do even better. The GTS 250 is a card that had enough horsepower to be used as a dedicated PhysX card. The GTS 450 does as well of course and still has the horsepower to run on its own merits. If one is not enough horsepower for you, add another card for a mere $160 bucks more to get more performance than a GTX 470 for roughly the same or even a slightly lower price point. By adding a second card, you get the ability to run NVIDIA's multi monitor graphics solution (NVIDIA Surround) to give you that wide angle view you need when gaming. For an added twist you can use NVIDIA's 3D Vision system to really get you into the game with 3D Vision Surround. With support for hundreds of games you get a 3D experience that has to be seen to be appreciated.
The Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum Edition is the top dog in the Palit GTS 450 line up and comes with a price that reflects this. At $159 this card is a few bucks...Ok, 30 bucks more than the reference cards but it does come set up to run the highest clock speeds of any GTS 450 that I have seen...at default voltages mind you. It offers a step forward to give you access to the latest display technologies, is cool running and offers excellent performance at this price point.
- SLI scaling
- Great performance
- Low noise
- HDMI audio
- PhysX support
- 3D Vison and Surround support
- HD audio