MSI GeForce GTS 450 Cyclone

19 Apr

It’s not so long ago that the first graphics card touting NVidia’s GTS 450, the Asus GTS 450 TOP, passed through the TechRadar labs. When first checking it out, we were impressed but hoped for a price tag a little closer to the £100 mark. Well, someone was listening, because MSI’s overclocked GTS 450 Cyclone is almost bang on our proposed target.

It runs at 67MHz above stock speed for a card of this ilk, with a healthy 434MHz boost to the memory speed, but the main feature is the wide windmill-like cooler. It’s whisper quiet and drops the temperature down to just 27C when idle. The card itself is small and requires just a single six-pin power connector, and is more or less price comparative with AMD’s HD5770 tech gadgets.

The MSI GeForce 450 Cyclone is a healthy step up from a vanilla GTS 450 in terms of performance, and is excellent value. Even with completely maxed out settings, it got every game we tried on it running at a playable speed at the key full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 barring Just Cause2.

Regardless of fans and overclocks, the basic GeForce GTS 450 is still just about half of a GeForce 460 with a higher clock speed and a narrower memory bandwidth. Given that stock versions of the 768MB version of the GeForce GTX 460 are available for just £125, that extra £20 is well spent.

The GTS 450 tech gadgets have the advantage over the GTX 460 of being smaller and requiring less power, which makes it a strong candidate for an SLI set-up, but it can’t really compete in benchmarks.

It is, however, now pitched directly up against the HD 5750 in pricing terms thanks to the on-going NVidia/AMD graphics card price wars. And that is a card the GTS 450 happily beats into submission in any benchmark you throw at it.

It delivers top performance for a card costing just a bit over £100 and hammers the price-comparative HD 5750 on all counts. It’s also quiet, small and only requires one power connector, making it a flexible option for SLI oranHTPC.

But as big an improvement as it is over the stock GTS 450 tech gadgets though, you don’t have to spend much more to get a clearly superior card like the GTX 460 768MB. It’s hard not to believe that won’t have more longevity and be better value in the long run.

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