InnoVISION GeForce GTS 450 iChill Video Card Review

Videocards/VGA Reviews by stefan @ 2010-09-27

The iChill GTS 450 from InnoVISION comes with a mild factory overclock and features a custom cooling solution. The temperature and power usage is quite low for a Fermi based GPU. In this review we compare it to 9 different video cards, including the ATI Radeon HD 5770.

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Introduction, Features & Specs


The iChill GTS 450 from InnoVISION comes with a mild factory overclock and features a custom cooling solution. The temperature and power usage is quite low for a Fermi based GPU. In this review we compare it to 9 different video cards, including the ATI Radeon HD 5770.

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At first I would like to thank InnoVISION for making this review possible.

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About InnoVISION:

“ InnoVISION Multimedia Limited is a pioneering developer and manufacturer of a diverse range of cutting-edge multimedia PC hardware products established in 1998 Hong Kong. Our manufacturing operations have been set up since 1990 in Shenzhen, China. In this short period of time we focus on manufacturing OEM/ODM products as well as contracting out extensive production and research facilities to specialist companies. We have accomplished international recognition by PC’s top reviewers as becoming an outstanding success and one of the most fast growing companies in Asia.

Our company's objective is to deliver the ultimate multimedia experience to the masses of PC users and multimedia professionals at an affordable cost. InnoVISION was then created to build brand awareness for the continuously growing product range in order to meet the fast growing market.

InnoVISION's product scope comprises the successful Inno3D brand - a comprehensive variety of 3D graphic board accelerators, the InnoDV - series of digital video/TV capture and editing products, InnoAX - high-end sound / audio cards, and EIO - advanced peripherals.

InnoVISION's ISO9001:2000 certification assures not only a world-class standard of product but also production, management and distribution efficiency. The company's talented and dedicated R&D teams both in Hong Kong and Shenzen are continually carrying out research of the highest level to design the next generation of groundbreaking products.

InnoVISION boasted a significant rate and increase in the market share of graphics card sales over the past years. To maintain InnoVISION highly respected image we will continuously focus to achieve a competitive advantage by maintaining constant product quality by continuous research and advance technical support to target customer needs.

InnoVISION will constantly grow and develop for future innovation of new and existing products. We are determined to reach beyond limits and stay focused on our company’s objectives for future prospects.”


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® 3D Vision™ Surround Ready

Expand your games across three displays in full stereoscopic 3D for the ultimate “inside the game” experience with the power of NVIDIA 3D Vision and SLI technologies. NVIDIA® Surround™ also supports triple screen gaming with non-stereo displays.

Interactive Ray Tracing

By tracing the path of light through a 3D scene, ray tracing uses the power of the GPU to create spectacular, photo-realistic visuals. Get a glimpse into the future of gaming with ray tracing.

2-way NVIDIA SLI® Technology

Industry leading 2-way NVIDIA SLI technology offers amazing performance scaling which allows you to upscale performance by pairing your GTS 450 card with another GTS 450 of any other brand.

NVIDIA PhysX® Technology

Full support for NVIDIA 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.

32x Anti-aliasing Technology

Lightning fast, high-quality anti-aliasing at up to 32x sample rates obliterates jagged edges.

NVIDIA® PureVideo® HD Technology

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.

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 1.3a Support

Fully integrated support for HDMI 1.3a including xvYCC, deep color, and 7.1 digital surround sound.


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Nvidia has finally launched a mid-range video card, also with the modular Fermi architecture, named GTS 450. They have tried to release something in the mid-range segment in the past too, the GTX 465, based on the GF100 chip, but people lost interest in it fast because of its relatively low price/performance ratio; this chip also consumes a lot of power and dissipates a lot of heat.

The GPU codename for the GTS 450 is GF106 and it is basically pointed towards the mid-range solutions from AMD, the RADEON HD 5750 and 5770. Thanks to its reduced core size, we can expect from this card to draw less power compared to the other Fermi cards, but also to dissipate less heat. Compared to the GTS 460, we can observe that the memory bus was shrinked too, from 256-bit to 128-bit; this reduced available memory bandwidth to half.

The GTS 450 does have 192 shader processors which are found over 4 Streaming Multiprocessors. The reference clock of the GTS 450 is 783MHz, but manufacturers have decided to go beyond the reference specifications and we can find chips clocked at 810MHz (Zotac, Gigabyte), 820MHz (InnoVISION) or even 925Mhz (ASUS).

GTS 450 Block Diagram

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

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

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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.

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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:

    Madshrimps (c)

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  • 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.

    Here are some PhysX demos 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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