Palit GeForce GTS 450 Low Profile 1GB Video Card

Palit show us another GTS 450. This one's a little different coming in at only half the height of the standard model, which could be more accommodating for some.

Published Thu, Oct 14 2010 9:50 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Palit

Introduction and Package


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For the most part I had thought we would've probably reached the end of the GTS 450 lookovers. We've looked at a number of versions of the model and a number of different speeds. We've seen it overclocked and in SLI, but when I saw the press release for the one we're looking at today, I just had to check it out.

Palit don't sample a lot of models. They tend to just send over the highly overclocked custom models like the Platinum Sonic we've already looked at. And while the one we're looking at carries with it the default clocks, something we actually haven't seen yet, its ace up its sleeve, is the fact that it's a half height card.

I've had a bit of a weird fondness for low profile cards; I've never had the need for one, never had to purchase one, but there's just something cool about them. This is especially the case as time goes on and we're seeing some good performance out of these cards. Sure, it's cool to see cards that take up three slots or hang over the end of your motherboard, but when you've got something that can pack a bit of punch at half the height of a normal performance video card, I think it's pretty cool and definitely has its practical advantages in certain scenarios, too.

The Package

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Checking out the package, there's nothing too out of the ordinary. The front of the box clearly tells us in the bottom corner that we're dealing with a Low Profile version of the card. Inside we've got the standard driver CD, paperwork and dual Molex to 6-Pin PCI-E connector. The main extra is a full size bracket which makes the low profile card fit into a system that isn't low profile.

Card and Specifications

The Card

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Looking at the card, it's funny to see something so small, yet still be dual slot while at the same time being an active cooled card. It looks pretty funky on a whole and kind of mean considering the size. I did have some concerns about the small fan, as the size does tend to cause the card to be more audible. We'll see what numbers it puts out after we look at the performance of the card, though.

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The card carries with it the same single 6-Pin PCI-E power connector. It's angled out a little differently to what we normally expect; we figure that's due to the size of the card and for the most part it shouldn't cause any problems for you.

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Connectivity is a little slimmed down which is no surprise. We've got a single Dual-Link DVI connector and a HDMI port. You may've noticed what's missing is the standard SLI connector we're used to seeing on the model. This would be to help make this size possible. I have to say, though, it would've been cool to have a little SLI GTS 450 Low Profile system, but really, it's something you most probably wouldn't see; it also would probably make the low profile design impossible.


The low profile version of the GTS 450 from Palit is clocked at the default reference speeds. This isn't much of a surprise since the fan just won't be as strong as some of the full height cards that are overclocked in excess of 900MHz.

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This puts the clocks at 783 MHz on the core, 1566 MHz on the Shader and 3608 MHz QDR on the memory clock.

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.

We'll be checking out the Low Profile GTS 450 from Palit against a number of other cards including the full height Platinum Sonic version of the card from Palit, HD 5750 and HD 5770 from AMD and the GTX 460.

It'll be good to see where exactly a reference GTS 450 sits as well.

Let's get started!

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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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Performance out of the gate isn't bad. While it does lag a fair bit behind the heavily overclocked Platinum Sonic from Palit, it's still considerably faster than the HD 5750.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 2
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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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Even on the reference clocked card the Tessellation performance continues to be strong for the Low Profile variant of the GTS 450.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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 we again see the card sit a fair bit back from the Palit Sonic, we're still above that 60 FPS average we need at both 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200.

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:
Product Homepage:

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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While we fall below that 60 FPS number we want at 1920 x 1200, we're still above it 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:
Product Homepage:
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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Mafia II no doubt struggles on the card when our detail is maxed out. We could lift those 1680 numbers with a detail drop, though, and probably to a playable level.

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:
Product Homepage:

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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We see all cards struggle under Lost Planet 2, no doubt an intensive game for these mid-range cards.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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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Like LP2, AvP really brings a lot of cards to their knees, including the GTS 450 Low Profile from Palit.

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:
Product Homepage:

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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From what we can tell, we're looking for a number of around 2,000. We scrape that in at 1920 x 1080, and fly past that at 1280 x 720. No doubt this is good news for the Final Fantasy fans.

Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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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One of our least intensive games we test and you can see strong performance across the board.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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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You can see we manage to scrape in with that 30 FPS minimum at 1920 x 1200. Of course, that means 1680 x 1050 doesn't have any problems.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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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Across the board Batman AA numbers are good for the low profile card with that 30 FPS minimum seen at all resolutions. At the highest, though, you can see we're a bit away from the 60 FPS average we normally like to see.

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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Apart from Street Fighter IV which sees us getting over that 60 FPS mark, the GTS 450 like most other cards here struggle to give us playable numbers.

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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We again see that both games struggle to hit the numbers we need with PhysX turned on. Clearly PhysX isn't an option for these cheap models.

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 low profile variant does run very warm compared to not just other GTS 450s, but other video cards in general. A card this size just isn't going to have as effective a cooling solution as full height cards.

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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While the card is audible at load, it's actually not too bad. The small fan doesn't have that annoying high pitched squeal that is so common with smaller fans.

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 for the model is pretty standard; no surprises really compared to the other cards we've looked at.

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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It's no surprise that this is the slowest GTS 450 we've tested to date; it's the only one we've tested with reference clocks. It does manage to hold its own, though.

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 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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Overall its performance rating is fairly strong. The LP setup hasn't carried any extra price tag which is good news and its overall value is only lower because the card carries the stock clocks.

Final Thoughts

The Palit GTS 450 Low Profile is probably the fastest low profile video card on the market at the moment. For most people that won't matter, but for a small minority of people it's a great title to have. It's going to be a fantastic option for people who are looking for some new grunt in their low profile system, while at the same time not forcing them to break the bank thanks to its also small $129.99 price tag over at Newegg right now.

It's worth noting at the moment that are also offering a free Civilization 5 Upgrade, which means that if you buy the Basic Edition of the game, you get the Digital Deluxe Edition for no extra charge which adds another $10 worth of value to the product. While not something for everyone, it's a nice little bonus.

When it comes to performance, the card performs noticeably slower than the Platinum Sonic version of the GTS 450 from Palit, but considering that card carries a 930MHz core, this comes as no surprise. With that said, it's worth mentioning that I did take the time to just do a little bit of overclocking,

The low profile version of the GTS 450 from Palit receives the same benefits as its big brother, the full height ones, which means we're able to adjust the voltage on the core. We managed to move that from 1.1v to 1.162v.

What I tried for and managed to achieve with no problems was 900MHz on the core. This bumped the Shader clock to 1800MHz. I also boosted the memory clock to 4000MHz QDR and proceeded to run a few benchmarks.

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What I ended up with was lifting our 3DMark Vantage score from P10773 to P12283 which is only a few hundred points shy of the Sonic Platinum version. I also fired up Far Cry 2 and ran our default settings at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200. The numbers went from 39 FPS and 30 FPS in the minimum department to 43 FPS and 32 FPS. As for the averages, they went from 82 FPS and 68 FPS to 92 FPS and 76 FPS.

While the extra voltage did cause the card to run a little hotter at 80c, slightly up on the 77c number we received at stock, the card didn't have any problems running our tests at these speeds.

The Palit GTS 450 Low Profile is a ripper little card. Sure, it's louder and hotter than most other GTS 450s we've tested, but you can't really compare the model to them for the simple fact being if your system can accept a full height card, just buy one of those. If you're looking for a Low Profile card that's faster than any other, this is the perfect card.

No doubt only catered for a certain group of people, and probably quite a small group at that, Palit has done a fantastic job of making this model available. And while it's something that won't sell in huge volumes because the market just isn't as big as others, it's a testament to Palit for mixing things up a bit. No one can criticize a company for doing that.

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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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