|Review: Gainward GeForce GTS 450 GS GLH|
Friday, 17 September 2010 13:59
Does Gainward’s take on nVIDIA’s new mainstream GPU manage to live up to the mouthful of a name it’s been given?
For those familiar with Gainward products the GS nomenclature has special value. Those familiar with medical textbooks will chuckle when they find out what GS stands for: Golden Sample.
But this tag isn’t to be laughed at. Only the best Gainward cards are tagged as GS, because the memory and graphics chips are handpicked. Then overclocked. And verified for stability, before finally shipping out. This model is extra fast, too, so it gets GLH tagged onto its name. If it weren’t obvious, this stands for “Goes Like Hell”.
Of course you could always just go and pick up a normal card and overclock it, but there’s something special about a factory-overclocked card – and the Gainward isn’t even that expensive.
As the name says, this is based on an nVIDIA GeForce 450 chipset, which puts it up against ATI’s 5750, though given the speed this GS-GLH is running at, it probably goes up against the ATI 5770, as well.
Compared to a stock standard 450 GTS, this high-end Gainward runs some impressive overclocks: core speed is 930MHz, compared to 783MHz for stock. Memory is 2000MHz vs. 1804MHz. That’s an 18% faster than stock, for the GPU, and 10% faster for the memory. Plus, there’s room for a bit more, if you know what you’re doing.
Our test rig was a Core i3 540 (3.06GHz) with 3GB of RAM, on Windows 7 32-bit. With the Gainward running at its standard overclocked speeds, it clocked in an impressive 14500 3DMarks in 3DMark06 – roughly the same score you would get from a mega overclocked system just two years ago, but for a fraction of the price. The Colin McRae DiRT2 benchmark demo returned consistently high numbers, even when the resolution and detail levels were maxed. Sure, 63 frames per second might not sound that exciting to hardcore overclockers and gamers, but for somebody who’s just spent R1400 on a graphics upgrade, it is a huge bonus to be able to play modern games with the details cranked up.
Watch this space, though – a graphics shootout might be on the cards, to see how the 450 GTS stacks up against its competition from ATI and maybe even the faster cards from nVIDIA.
Good: Factory overclocked; great value; SLI compatible
Bad: Takes up two slots; gets a bit toasty
Verdict: Excellent value for money and a great upgrade if your existing card is getting on a bit.
Price: R1 399
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