Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum Review

ccokeman - 2010-09-09 10:43:32 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: September 27, 2010
Price: $159

Introduction: 

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.

Closer Look:

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.


 

Closer Look:

The design of the Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum edition video card mirrors the design of their GTX 460 which we recently looked at. This card is one of three models offered by Palit and is the top of the line in their GTS 450 lineup. You have the standard version that runs with the reference clock speeds of 783/1566/902Mhz (Fixed Function units/CUDA cores/Memory). The Sonic Edition comes in at 880/1760/1950Mhz while the Sonic Platinum is currently the fastest GTS 450 out at speeds of 930/1860/1000Mhz. This card is meant to be used in a motherboard with 16x PCIe 2.0 slots but is backwards compatible with a PCIe 1.0 slot. The GTS 450 is built using NVIDIA's GF 106 GPU core that is the latest revision of the FERMI micro-architecture. Built using 40nm manufacturing processes, this core uses 1.17 billion transistors and due to FERMI architecture being of a modular design, NVIDIA has been able to scale it down in price, performance and power consumption to meet the needs of this class of card. On the back side of this card there is not much to talk about other than the four Samsung memory modules that help make up the 1GB frame buffer. From the side views you get a glimse of how the heat sink sits over the red PCB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whereas the reference card makes use of two Dual link DVI ports and a single mini HDMI port, the Palit Sonic Platinum edition make use of a fourth connection with the addition of a D-sub connector to get further functionality. The other cards I have looked at do not have this combination. With this mix of the display connectivity options, there is this added ability to connect to just about every monitor type currently available. NVIDIA has also introduced bitstreaming support for Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio over HDMI if you are planning to use this card in an HTPC. The back end of the card is home to the power circuits and the six pin PCIe power connection.

 

 

All it takes to power this card in addition to the 75 watts from the PCIe slot, is an additional six pin PCIe connection from your power supply. The reference GTS 450 card has a 106 watt TDP and the suggested power supply falls in the 400 watt range. There is only a single SLI bridge connection on the top of the card so if you choose to explore a multi GPU SLI setup you are limited to a pair of cards in this configuration. This does however open up options to use NVIDIA's Surround technology with a total of three monitors. Add in NVIDIA's 3D Vision system and you get a 3D Surround experience to get you fully immersed in games.

 

 

The shroud comes off of the card by removing four small screws. Underneath, the heat pipe-based cooling solution is large and covers the majority of the card - but not quite to the extreme rear where the voltage regulation circuits are. The four phase power design does not have a separate heat sink for these components like the non-reference ASUS TOP model. The PCB design from the GPU core back looks almost indistinguishable from that of the Palit Sonic GTX 460 Sonic Platinum edition. If the design works on a card that uses more power, then this card should be more than fine with that design.

 

 

The cooling solution used on this card is heat pipe based and uses two heat pipes to transfer the thermal load from the GF 106 GPU core to the large fin array. The two heat pipes are in contact with a large thick copper plate instead of using a direct contact design. This design should prove equally effective at keeping the thermals in check.

 

 

The nine blade fan is 80mm in size and is manufactured by Power Logic. This fan can be manually controlled so you can adjust speeds as needed to facilitate cooling in your chassis and use ambient temperatures to keep the card cool.

 

 

The Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum is powered by the latest version of NVIDIA's FERMI micro-architecture. The GF 106 core uses a single GPU cluster with four streaming multi processors that house 192 CUDA cores, four polymorph engines, 32 texture units, 1.17 billion transistors, 16 ROP units and 256KB of shared L2 cache. Clock speeds on the reference version of the GTS 450 come in at 783MHz on the fixed function units and double that for 1566MHz on the CUDA (Shader) cores. This card comes in with a clock increase over the stock card of 147Mhz to 930Mhz on the fixed function units and 1860Mhz on the CUDA cores. This card, much like the reference cards, uses Samsung GDDR5 memory that carries part number K4G10325FE-HC05 - a very popularly used IC. This GDDR5 is rated to run at 1000MHz (QDR 4000MHz) and in this card, runs at 1000MHz or 98Mhz over the reference values. It does run through the same 128-bit bus. With memory modules that have seen clock speeds up over 1200Mhz regularly, I am curious to see if this card is able to meet or exceed that mark.

 

 

This card from Palit looks much different from the reference card and uses a much more robust cooling assembly to remove the heat from the GF 106 based core. Let's see if this allows the GTS 450 Sonic from Palit to gain some overclocking headroom.

Specifications:

Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum

 
Graphics Card
GeForce GTS 450
Processing Units
 
Graphics Processing Clusters
1
Streaming Multiprocessors
4
CUDA Cores
192
Texture Units
32

ROP Units
16
Clock Speeds
 
Graphics Clock (Fixed Function Units)
930 MHz
Processor Clock (CUDA Cores)
1860 MHz
Memory Clock (Clock rate / Data rate)
1000MHz / 4000 MHz
Memory
 
Total Video Memory
1024 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface
128-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth
64.0 GB/s
Fillrate
 
Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)
26.0 GigaTexels/sec
Physical & Thermal
Fabrication Process
40 nm
Connectors
2 x Dual-Link DVI-I
1 x Mini HDMI 1 x VGA
Form Factor
Dual Slot
Power Connectors
1 x 6-pin
Recommended Power Supply
400 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP)1
106 Watts
Thermal Threshold2
95° C

Features:

Testing:

Testing of this fourth version of NVIDIAs latest assault on ATI's product stack (the Palit Sonic Platinum GTS 450 of course!) will consist of running the cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where it falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea on how the cards perform relative to each other. The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the card at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see how much additional performance is available and to determine if it can run with the current fastest single GPU cards on the market. The drivers used in this test will be the 10.7 Catalyst drivers for ATI and 258.96 Forceware drivers from NVIDIA for the GTX 480, 470, 465 and GTX 460. The GTS 450 and prior generation GTS 250 will be tested with the latest 260 series driver being introduced with this product lineup. Tests will be conducted at both stock and overclocked settings to gauge performance when an increase in clock speed is applied.

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

The Palit Sonic GTS 450 is a factory overclocked piece that is the highest clocked GTS 450 tested to-date here at Overclockersclub. It comes with clock speeds of 930Mhz on the CUDA cores and 1000Mhz on the 1GB of frame buffer memory. By using MSI's Afterburner software utility version 2.0 Beta 4 I was able to increase the clock speeds up to 1006Mhz on the fixed function units and shader domain while bumping the memory speeds up to 2190Mhz. To do this did require a bump in the voltage used by the GTS 450 from the "as delivered" 1050mv to 1125mv. These results are the highest of the four GTS 450s tested but of course your mileage may vary. NVIDIA's claim that GF 106 based "Sniper" cards can be overclocked has been proven to be a fact, not just an idle boast. When I tested the reference cards, the clock speed increases were on the order of 20+%. This card goes even further allowing for additional performance above that delivered by the reference card.

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

MSI's Kombuster utility was used to test stability and to put a constant load on the GPU for the purposes of testing maximum power draw and temperatures. The stability test was used to find a range of settings that are stable through a 15 minute run at 1920 x 1200 8xAA. The reported clock speeds are those that proved stable over a 15 minute test at 1920 x 1200, 8x AA and the run through the benchmarks suite.

 

 

  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Crysis Warhead
  4. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.0
  7. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  8. Resident Evil 5
  9. 3DMark 06 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption

 

The maximum clock speed graphs above show the overclocking potential of the GTS 450 cards. The Palit Sonic Platinum the highest of the GTS 450 group of cards. This large bump in clock speed should help the performance delivered in game. Something that should show in the following benchmarks.

Testing:

Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built especially for Far Cry 2, this engine allows for real time effects and damage. This next generation first person shooter comes to us from Ubisoft surprisingly - not from Crytek. The game is set in a war-torn region of Africa where there is a non-existent central government and the chaos that surrounds this type of social environment. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond, you know the setting. Ubisoft puts the main storyline of the game into focus with these statements: "Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal," a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfill your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force." In this version of the game, you don't have the beautiful water, but instead the beauty and harshness of the African continent to contend with. Most games give you a set area that can be played through, while Ubisoft has given the gamer the equivalent of 50 square kilometers of the vast African continent to explore while in pursuit of your goals. The settings used are just a few steps below the maximum in-game settings and offer a good blend of performance vs. visual quality.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

When compared to the HD 5750, HD 5770 and older GTS 250, the Palit Sonic Platinum GTS 450 card provides a higher level of performance in this game.

Testing:

Part first person shooter, part survival horror, Metro 2033 is based on the novel of the same name, written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. You play as Artyom in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, where you'll spend most of your time traversing the metro system, with occasional trips to the surface. Despite the dark atmosphere and bleak future for mankind, the visuals are anything but bleak. Powered by the 4A Engine, with support for DirectX 11, NVIDIA Physx and NVIDIA 3D Vision, the tunnels are extremely varied - in your travels, you'll come across human outposts, bandit settlements, and even half-eaten corpses. Ensuring you feel all the tension, there is no map and no health meter. Get lost without enough gas mask filters and adrenaline shots and you may soon wind up as one of those half-eaten corpses - chewed up by some horrifying manner of irradiated beast that hides in the shadows just waiting for some hapless soul to wander by.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

The GTS 250 is not available for comparison in this game due to not having DirectX 11 support. You get gaming performance or FPS delivered that is similar to the two HD 57XX cards.

Testing:

Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion pack situated in time with the story line of the original Crysis. As Sergeant "Psycho" Sykes, you have a secret mission to accomplish on the far side of the island. Along the way there are EMP blasts and aliens to contend with, as you hunt down the KPA chief. This game uses an enhanced version of the CryEngine 2.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

The performance delivered by the Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum is similar to that delivered by the HD 57XX series cards from Sapphire.


 

Testing:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the latest iteration of the venerable first person shooter series, Call of Duty. Despite its long, successful pedigree, the game is not without substantial criticism and controversy, especially on the PC. Aside from the extremely short campaign and lack of innovation, the PC version's reception was also marred by its lack of support for user-run dedicated servers, which means no user-created maps, no mods, and no customized game modes. You're also limited to 18-player matches instead of the 64-player matches that were possible in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Despite all this, the game has been well received and the in-house IW 4.0 engine renders the maps in gorgeous detail, making it a perfect candidate for OCC benchmarking. You start off the single player missions playing as Private Allen and jump right into a serious firefight. This is the point where testing will begin. Testing will be done using actual game play with FPS measured by Fraps.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

In this game the performance between the HD 5770 and the Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum edition are very similar. Both the ATI and NVIDIA cards are overclocked so you at least can see the effects of the higher clocks by comparing it to the stock clocked reference GTS 450.

Testing:

Just Cause 2 is a third-person shooter that takes place on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. In this sequel to 2006's Just Cause, you return as Agent Rico Rodriguez to overthrow an evil dictator and confront your former boss. When you don't feel like following the main story line, you're free to roam the island, pulling off crazy stunts and causing massive destruction in your wake, all beautifully rendered by the Avalanche Engine 2.0. In the end, that's what the game basically boils down to; crazy stunts and blowing things up. In fact, blowing things up and wreaking havoc is actually necessary to unlock new missions and items.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

Performance wise, the Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum matches up with the HD 5770 from 1280 x 1024 to 1680 x 1050. Over that, the HD 5770 delivers a higher FPS in this game. Performance is better than that of the GTS 250 and HD 5750 in most resolutions.

Testing:

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.0 is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on the Unigine engine. What sets the Heaven Benchmark apart is the addition of hardware tessellation, available in three modes. Moderate, Normal and Extreme. Although tessellation requires a video card with DirectX 11 support and Windows Vista/7, the Heaven Benchmark also supports DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and OpenGL. Visually, it features beautiful floating islands that contain a tiny village and extremely detailed architecture.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

Unigine's Heaven benchmark is a stout test for any DX 11 graphics card and the Palit GTS 450 is not an exception to that rule. Even so, the numbers delivered by the GTS 450 from Palit are comparable to ATI's HD 5770 and HD 5750 in the higher resolutions and better than in the lower resolutions - the most likely targets markets for these cards. The GTS 250 is not tested in this benchmark as it does not have DirectX 11 support.


 

Testing:

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a new game that brings together two bitter foes, The Joker and Batman. The Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum, Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Your task is to rein in the Joker and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to ply your trade.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

The Palit GTS 450 plays this game at a higher FPS count than the HD 5770 OC in all eight tests, something the reference card is also capable of doing.

Testing:

Resident Evil 5 is the sequel to one of the best selling video games of all time. You play the game as Chris Redfield a survivor of the events at Raccoon City who now works for the BSAA. Sent to Africa to find the genesis of the latest Bio Organic agents, you meet up with another BSAA operative and work together to solve the problem. The game offers incredible 3D effects and a co-op gaming style.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

The Palit GTS 450 performs right in the envelope it should when pushed. The higher overclock does not seem to add up to much of an increase in performance but, the additional overclocking does offer a nice boost over the reference card when tested head to head at their rated speeds.

Testing:

3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest has begun. 3DMark06 presents a severe test for many of today's hardware components. Let's see how this setup fares. The settings we will use are listed below.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

When you look at the performance delivered in 3DMark 06 you can see that the comparable cards from ATI are the HD 5770 and HD 5750. Testing shows the HD 5770 VaporX delivering a higher score in the 1920 x 1200 and 2560 x 1600 resolutions than the GTS 450.

Testing:

Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. 'Entry' is 1024 x 768 progressing to 'Extreme' at 1920 x 1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

In 3DMark Vantage the Palit GTS 450 scores between the HD 5750 and HD 5770 in the lower resolutions but seems to have a little more under the hood when it comes to the overclocked testing at higher resolutions.

Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using MSI Kombuster which is paired with MSI's afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using the stability test set to a resolution of 1920 x 1200 using 8xAA. I will use a 15 minute time frame to run the test ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card's BIOS for the first test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for overclocking. The idle test will be a 20 minute cool down with the fan speeds left on automatic.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower = Better

 

The cooling solution on all of the GTS 450 cards seem to do a good job keeping the load temperatures in check. The Arctic cooled Inno3D version has a significant edge in this comparison while the heat pipe based cooling solution used on the Palit comes in second for cooling efficiency. When cranked up to 100%, the fan is not that noisy by comparison but it is audible. If you are gaming with headphones on you will not hear it.

Testing:

Power Consumption of the system will be measured in both idle states and loaded states and will take into account the peak voltage of the system with each video card installed. I will use MSI Kombuster to load the GPU for a 15 minute test and use the peak load of the system as my result for the maximum load. The idle results will be measured after 15 minutes of inactivity on the system.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower = Better

 

The Palit GTS 450 is a factory overclocked card so you might expect the power consumption to be a bit higher when tested at the stock speeds of 930/1000 Mhz. When you get down to it, the power consumption is higher than the reference card by 5 watts, not a huge penalty and is comparable to the rest of the GTS 450 cards we recently looked at. When overclocked to the 1Ghz mark on the cores, the power consumption again takes a jump as it took additional voltage applied to the cores to reach that level.

Conclusion:

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.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: