Palit GeForce GTS 450 Low Profile 1Gb GDDR5 Video Card Review

Videocards/VGA Reviews by stefan @ 2010-11-25

The GTS 450 Low Profile from Palit is one of the most powerful cards meant for installing inside a HTPC, so we basically get of both worlds: a compact and silent system while surfing the internet or doing office work along with decent performances in todays' games, if using lower resolutions.

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Features, Specifications

Microsoft DirectX 11 Support

DirectX 11 GPU with Shader Model 5.0 support designed for ultra high performance in the new API’s key graphics feature, GPU-accelerated tessellation.

NVIDIA® GeForce® drivers
Unlock the full power and capability of your NVIDIA GeForce graphics processor. NVIDIA GeForce Drivers deliver continuous performance optimizations for the life of your GeForce GPU.

NVIDIA® 3D Vision™ Support
Expand your games in full stereoscopic 3D for the ultimate “inside the game” experience with the power of NVIDIA 3D Vision. NVIDIA 3D Vision automatically transforms hundreds of PC games into full stereoscopic 3D.

NVIDIA® PhysX® Technology
Full support for PhysX technology, enabling a totally new class of physical gaming interaction for a more dynamic and realistic experience with GeForce.
NVIDIA® CUDA™ Technology
CUDA technology unlocks the power of the GPU’s processor cores to accelerate the most demanding tasks such as video transcoding, physics simulation, ray tracing, and more, delivering incredible performance improvements over traditional CPUs.

Hardware Video Decode Acceleration
The combination of high-definition video decode acceleration and post-processing that delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video.
TrueHD and DTS-HD Audio Bitstreaming Support
Full support for TrueHD and DTS-HD advanced lossless multi-channel HD audio codecs brings the rich sound of the master recording to your living room.
PCI Express 2.0 Support
Designed for the new PCI Express 2.0 bus architecture offering the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications, while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing PCI Express motherboards for the broadest support.
Dual-link DVI Support
Able to drive industry’s largest and highest resolution flat-panel displays up to 2560x1600 and with support for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

HDMI 1.4a Support
Support for HDMI 1.4a including GPU accelerated Blu-ray 3D support (Blu-ray 3D playback requires the purchase of a compatible software player from CyberLink, ArcSoft, Corel, or Sonic), x.v.Color, HDMI Deep Color, and 7.1 digital surround sound will be added in a Release 260 driver. Upgrade your GPU to full 3D capability with NVIDIA 3DTV Play software, enabling 3D gaming, picture viewing and 3D web video streaming. See for more details.


The GeForce GTS 450 Low Profile from Palit shares the same technical specifications as the reference model:


The mid-range GTS450 video cards have finally arrived in low profile format for HTPCs. If we look at low profile video cards that have appeared in the past, we can see that most of them brought very little performance improvement over the onboard solutions; with the Palit GTS 450, this is not the case.

Clocked at the same speeds as the reference model, the product brings full DirectX11 compatibility to the table, along with 1GB of GDDR5.

The GTS450 was mostly targeted at gamers that aim to get the best performance at the price they pay. Nvidia recommends its customers to use this card in games while using a resolution up to 1600x1200.
With this card, we have available 192 shader processors, and the available 1GB GDDR5 is linked to a 128-bit wide bus.

The Palit GTS 450 Low Profile comes with the standard clocks of 783/1566/902 (core/shaders/memory) and the power draw for these frequencies reported by Nvidia is 106W.

As we have stated earlier, the GTS 450 does come with 192 shader processors, divided between 4 Streaming Multiprocessors.

GTS 450 Block Diagram



In Polymorph Engines that we can see in the diagram we can see the five stages:

-Vertex Fetch
-Viewport Transform
-Attribute Setup
-Stream Output



These stages process the information from each Streaming Multiprocessor they are associated with. The data will then get to the Raster Engine which has 3-pipeline stages that pass data from current to the next.


In conclusion, we can find a total of 4 Polymorph Engines and 1 Raster Engine.

The latest GPUs from Nvidia fully support DirectX11 instructions which include GPGPU (DirectCompute 11), tessellation and improved multi-threading; they also come with Shader Model 5, better shadows and HDR texture compression.

# Tesselation, as described on the Unigine website, is a “scalable technology aimed for automatic subdivision of polygons into smaller and finer pieces, so that developers can gain a more detailed look of their games almost free of charge in terms of performance. Thanks to this procedure, the elaboration of the rendered image finally approaches the boundary of veridical visual perception: the virtual reality is vivified at your fingertips delivering engaging gaming experience.”

Here is a modeled house inside the Unigine Heaven benchmark, without and with the tessellation feature enabled:



The multi-threaded rendering is similar to the techniques applied for the current CPUs. If a shader or an instruction has to be queued up, the process creates a delay. The current GPUs can now process data completely threaded, which bring a better overall performance.

The DirectCompute feature allows access to the GPU for stream computing; it shares a range of computational interfaces with its competitors: OpenCL and CUDA.

3D Vision Surround and Nvidia Surround are the responses to ATI’s Eyefinity. Nvidia Surround allows the use of 3 separate monitors to be used in 3D applications, with an SLI setup. This feature is backwards compatible with GT200 and GF100 series and allows a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 per monitor.
The 3D Vision Surround offers stereoscopic viewing when using 3 monitors at once. To use this feature we also need three 120Hz displays, same model and same make to ensure uniformity; the system must be very powerful, because it needs to process six high-res 1920x1080 images, two images for each 120Hz monitor.

About Nvidia PhysX

Delivering physics in games is no easy task. It's an extremely compute-intensive environment based on a unique set of physics algorithms that require tremendous amounts of simultaneous mathematical and logical calculations.
This is where NVIDIA® PhysX™ Technology and GeForce® processors come in. NVIDIA PhysX is a powerful physics engine which enables real-time physics in leading edge PC and console games. PhysX software is widely adopted by over 150 games, is used by more than 10,000 registered users and is supported on Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PC.
In addition, PhysX is designed specifically for hardware acceleration by powerful processors with hundreds of cores. Combined with the tremendous parallel processing capability of the GPU, PhysX will provide an exponential increase in physics processing power and will take gaming to a new level delivering rich, immersive physical gaming environments with features such as:

* Explosions that cause dust and collateral debris
* Characters with complex, jointed geometries for more life-like motion and interaction
* Spectacular new weapons with incredible effects
* Cloth that drapes and tears naturally
* Dense smoke & fog that billow around objects in motion

The only way to get real physics with the scale, sophistication, fidelity and level of interactivity that dramatically alters your entertainment experience will be with one of the millions of NVIDIA PhysX-ready GeForce processors.

Nvidia PhysX sample videos from Youtube:

Fluid Demo


The Great Kulu


Deformable objects


Nvidia CUDA

NVIDIA® CUDA™ is a general purpose parallel computing architecture that leverages the parallel compute engine in NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) to solve many complex computational problems in a fraction of the time required on a CPU. It includes the CUDA Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and the parallel compute engine in the GPU. To program to the CUDATM architecture, developers can, today, use C, one of the most widely used high-level programming languages, which can then be run at great performance on a CUDATM enabled processor. Other languages will be supported in the future, including FORTRAN and C++.

With over 100 million CUDA-enabled GPUs sold to date, thousands of software developers are already using the free CUDA software development tools to solve problems in a variety of professional and home applications – from video and audio processing and physics simulations, to oil and gas exploration, product design, medical imaging, and scientific research.

Technology features :

* Standard C language for parallel application development on the GPU
* Standard numerical libraries for FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) and BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines)
* Dedicated CUDA driver for computing with fast data transfer path between GPU and CPU
* CUDA driver interoperates with OpenGL and DirectX graphics drivers
* Support for Linux 32/64-bit and Windows XP 32/64-bit operating systems

CUDA Realtime Particles Demo



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