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Palit GeForce GTS 450 Sonic Platinum 1GB Video Card

Palit stamp the Sonic Platinum logo on the GTS 450 and we've got to say, these stock clocks...wow!

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Tue, Sep 14 2010 5:19 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Palit

Introduction and Package


Introduction

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For the week prior to the launch of the GTS 450 it's just been non-stop with samples of this card. It's clear that like the GTX 460, NVIDIA partners are keen to get their model out there to the market. It's been quite an interesting launch to be honest, with a few little surprises for me when it came to out of the box clocks.

Galaxy offered us a 100MHz+ out of the box overclock with its Super OC model. MSI while not offering clock rates as big, did offer a larger than expected OC. Based on the GTX 460 Cyclone, I figured a clock speed of around 830MHz would be seen; instead they opted for 850MHz and cranked the memory up like Galaxy did to 4000MHz QDR.

In steps we now look at the Palit GTS 450 with its Sonic Platinum tag. Since I looked at the Galaxy Super OC first, I thought that the Palit offering would sit around the 880MHz or 870MHz mark, as we saw Galaxy 1-Up Palit at the GTX 460 launch with its 810MHz core. Once installed into the testbed, I installed the drivers, rebooted and checked out GPU-Z to take a screenshot for the Specifications section.

All I can say is, the next thing that happened was a message to Palit saying "Holy Crap!". Before we get to why I said that, let's first see what spread Palit has put on for us when it comes to the bundle.


The Package

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It comes as no surprise at all that the bundle is light. I've said this a few times already that it's becoming a trend with video card partners to lighten the package these days and here is no exception.

Of course, the more budget orientated flavor of the model doesn't help the situation. Ultimately, though, you're buying the product for the card and as long as that's included, most won't mind.

Card and Specifications


The Card

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The card itself is very similar to the GTX 460 we looked at from Palit. Overall the heatsink/fan is a little boring, but to be honest, it's done the job well which is what you really need from a video card cooler. As for other bits and pieces connected to the PCB, we've got a single 6-PIN PCI-E power connector and a single SLI connector across the top.

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The I/O department doesn't show us anything we haven't seen before from Palit. What's interesting is that the three cards we've looked at so far have all had a different setup. Galaxy opted for a Dual-Link DVI, VGA and HDMI; MSI two Dual-Link DVIs and a mini HDMI and here Palit have gone the two Dual-Link DVI, VGA and HDMI path. No doubt Palit has the largest array of ports of the three and something worth considering when looking at the GTS 450.


Specifications

Just quickly I'll cover the fact that the reference clocks for the GTS 450 are 783MHz on the core, 1566MHz on the Shader and 3600MHz QDR on the memory clock. For a little more detail on the card's specifications, I would recommend checking out the Galaxy Super OC review.

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As to why Palit was greeted with a nice "Holy Crap!" message from me, it's because out of the box they're offering us a mammoth 930MHz core clock. 930MHz! When we tested the MSI one for overclocking, we achieved only 20MHz more than that. It's just insane to see a company offer us such a big OC that's so close to what we've seen cards overclock to.

What that's done is pushed our Shader clock to 1860MHz. I'm just glad that Palit hasn't chosen to rely on that core clock, though, and have instead chosen to increase the memory speed to 4000MHz QDR like we've seen from both Galaxy and MSI so far.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.

While we'll be comparing the card against the HD 5700s from AMD and the GTX 460 from ECS, we've also included the Galaxy GTS 450 Super OC which carried with it an already impressive 888MHz core and 4000MHz QDR memory clock. It'll be interesting to see what that extra 42MHz on the core does for overall performance.

Let's get started!


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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Straight away we can see the extra MHz helps push the GTS 450 performance a little further.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark




Version and / or Patch Used: 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//



New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Under Heaven we can see that 930MHz core just helps extend the lead against the HD 5770.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5


Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/




Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

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While the model falls a little behind the HD 5770 at the higher resolution, that 930MHz core again comes in handy with it helping close the gap a little.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/





Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.

The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.

Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

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Those extra MHz on offer from the Sonic Platinum help push our 1920 x 1200 average up which was only scraping in at that 60 FPS average. It's also enough power to let the card win against the HD 5770 at this resolution and at 1680 x 1050.

Benchmarks - Mafia II


Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/
Buy It Here




Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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While all the cards except the GTX 460 struggle to break that 60 FPS average at even 1680 x 1050, you can see the extra MHz on offer from the Palit card brings us both closer to that average we need and puts it only 1 FPS behind the HD 5770.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2


Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/




Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Across the board we see the cards struggle here, but the extra speed on offer helps the GTS 450 extend its lead over the HD 5770 in this game.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator


Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/
Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/




Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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We again see the cards struggle here, and again that increase to 930MHz does help increase our average FPS, if only by a small margin in this case.

Benchmarks - Final Fantasy XIV


Final Fantasy XIV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Elezen (Male)
Developer Homepage: http://www.square-enix.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com/




Final Fantasy XIV, also known as Final Fantasy XIV Online, is the fourteenth installment in the Final Fantasy series. The game is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and is developed and published by Square Enix. The game takes place in a land called Hydaelyn, mainly in a region named Eorzea, which will have a contemporaneously aesthetic blend of science fiction and classic fantasy elements.

The battle and job systems will be different from the one previously used in Final Fantasy XI, which utilized experience points and level-based progression. Final Fantasy XIV is being designed to utilize a skill-based progression[15] system similar to that of Final Fantasy II. Character races will resemble and allow players to create avatars similar to ones in Final Fantasy XI. Group play has been de-emphasized, and now solo and group play have been balanced. Weapon use will alter "character development".

Note: Final Fantasy XIV gives us a score and not a normal FPS rating, our understanding is that anything around 2000 points or above is considered playable.

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We continue to see that core boost our performance and while it's not enough for the card to take out a win at 1920 x 1080, it's enough for it to overtake the HD 5770 just at 1280 x 720.

Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV


Street Fighter IV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.streetfighter.com/




While Street Fighter IV features models and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane, with the camera having freedom to move in 3D at certain times during fights, for dramatic effect. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called "Focus Attacks" ("Saving Attack" for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.

All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, opted for non-photorealistic rendering to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.

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The Galaxy GTS 450 already had a leg up on the HD 5770 under Street Fighter IV. The Palit version just helps extend that lead further thanks to the mammoth out of the box core clock.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Overall performance is up compared to the Galaxy version. Compared to the HD 5770 we see it's a little weaker in minimums, but stronger in averages. Out of the two we would have to say the minimum is the more important one, though.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum


Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/





Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.

Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.

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At 1920 x 1200 and below we see the Palit GTS 450 Sonic Platinum is able to extend the lead over the HD 5770. At 2560 x 1600 where it feels a little short, it comes in line exactly with it.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.

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Performance is a little up for the most part compared to the Galaxy version. Outside of the less intensive Street Fighter IV, though, we see that the model and most others struggle to offer us decent FPS at these high settings.

Benchmarks - PhysX Tests


PhysX Tests

Here we're able to find out when PhysX is turned on in games that support it what kind of frame rates we're able to get. We always set PhysX to the highest possible in game settings while also keeping detail at its highest.

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For the most part we really see the GTS 450 struggle when PhysX comes into the mix. With that said, the extra few MHz managed to get our minimum up to 30 FPS at 1680 x 1050 which is nice, even though you're probably not going to notice the difference between the 29 FPS and 30 FPS.

Temperature Test






The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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The card runs quite warm compared to a lot of the other ones we've looked at. I asked Palit to make sure my reading was correct.

Sound Test






Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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It was, as they wanted to concentrate on low noise and said that 71c is still way below the threshold of the card.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Power draw's a little up on the model, but we're still dealing with nice low numbers which a good power supply will easily handle.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)


Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, Resident Evil 5, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Mafia 2 (PhysX Off), Lost Planet 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Final Fantasy XIV, Street Fighter IV, Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off) and our four High Quality tests which include Mafia 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Street Fighter IV and Far Cry 2.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

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There's no real surprise here. It's faster than the Galaxy Super OC which carries with it only an 888MHz core vs. the 930MHz on the Palit, and it's a little behind the MSI Cyclone when overclocked slightly higher on the core, but significantly higher on the memory. Of course, this came with the addition of more voltage.

Total Value Rating (TVR)


Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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With the same price tag as the Galaxy, its value sits a little better thanks to it being a little faster. The more aggressive $135 US MSI price, yet still strong clocks, means it does fall a little behind. With that said, Palit do offer a Sonic model with 850MHz core for a similar price to the MSI, so that's something worth considering if you want to save a little money and you're happy to OC yourself.

Final Thoughts




Now that Palit has pretty much become an NVIDIA only partner, it means the company can really concentrate on just creating great variants of NVIDIA models. While they've left the higher end segment alone, they've done a fantastic job with the mid range one; first the GTX 460 and now the GTS 450.

NVIDIA partners have been very aggressive with the latest mid range models and there's no denying that Palit have been one of the most aggressive. Not only have they been able to offer this huge out of the box overclock, but they've also managed to keep the price at that perfect $150 mark.

Overall, the performance is very strong, and compared to the HD 5770 we have another model that's able to outperform it. Sure, this is overclocked extremely high, but honestly, the highest out of the box clock we've seen from the HD 5770 is a 50MHz core overclock from GIGABYTE on the SOC model. Nothing has come close to these 100MHz+ offerings that NVIDIA partners are doing.

The biggest worry I had with the card was the temperature; it really does run quite warm at 71c when compared to the other cards in a similar price bracket. I went to the effort to check with Palit that there wasn't a problem. Since the card arrived before launch, it's possible that there may have been an issue with the fan speed. Speaking to them, they said that instead of focusing on keeping the card really cool, they opted to keep the card really quiet.

This isn't a bad strategy; the only setup that was quieter than the Palit offering in Load was the HD 5770 Silent Cell from GIGABYTE which doesn't use active cooling. 71c is also way below the heat threshold of these models, so really there's nothing to be worried about. It's worth noting that the peace does come at a cost, though, and that is the extra heat. For some people it's not going to be an issue, while for others they may prefer to have something louder that does indeed run cooler.

The good news is if you're a fan of the cooler and the path that Palit has taken with it, but find that the Sonic Platinum version is a little too expensive and you're happy to do a bit of overclocking yourself, you can get just the Sonic version which carries with it an 880MHz core and a 3900MHz QDR memory clock for around the $130 US price tag, which is very impressive.

If you want to save some money and prefer to really do overclocking yourself, the Sonic Platinum version is probably a little bit of a waste. The Sonic version would be a more attractive option. The bottom line, though, is that there's still a lot of people out there who don't like to overclock, don't feel comfortable or just can't be bothered, and that's quite common at this price point. For those people the Sonic Platinum from Palit is a stand out model due to its massive out of the box clocks.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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