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September 14, 2010

NVIDIA Unveils GeForce GTS 450

Earlier today, NVIDIA has lifted the covers on a new GPU from their “Fermi” family specifically targeting gamers: the GeForce GTS 450.


What NVIDIA did with the GTS 450 was look at the latest habits of today’s gamers and designed a GPU that would meet their needs at what will be a good price point for gamers on a budget ($129 according to their blog). According to Valve’s Steam Hardware & Software Survey for July 2010 – 57% of gamers play between 1280×1024 and 1680×1050 screen resolutions. The Steam Hardware & Software Survey for August 2010 was released as well and that trend still holds true (it’s at 56.03% for August). With that in mind, NVIDIA designed the GTS 450 to provide the best experience on 19” to 22” monitors operating at resolutions between 1280×1024 and 1680×1050. NVIDIA groups their GPUs into “classes” that gamers would understand:

  • GeForce GTX 480: “The Tank”
  • GeForce GTX 460: “The Hunter”
  • GeForce GTS 450: “The Sniper”

Some gamers need a tank at their disposal (or two tanks – courtesy of SLI), while other gamers are just fine with the sniper. The GTS 450 not the biggest gun but certainly an effective weapon. At least, that’s what NVIDIA told folks during a conference call last week about the GTS 450. Makes sense to me. As someone who is a more casual gamer, I don’t think I’d need a tank for my gaming but rather something that’ll get the job done.

The GTS 450 comes packing with some impressive specs – including DirectX 11! For a full list of specs, click here. It will ship as a 1GB DDR5 model and another version of the GTS 450 overclocked will also ship later. NVIDIA tells me they consider the GTS 450 a “good upgrade story” for SLI (SLI is the technology that connects two NVIDIA GPUs together). The idea for gamers buying a GTS 450 isn’t that they would buy two right away for SLI rather they would buy one at first and then sometime down the line buy another. Again, the GTS 450 is for gamers on a budget. The GTS 450 will have 2x DVI and then 1 mini DVI port.

Back in late May at Computex 2010, NVIDIA and Microsoft and several others came together to introduce the 3D PC category. By definition, a 3D PC must have the following:

  • A pair of 3D active-shutter glasses.
  • A 120Hz 3D-capable display which can be a desktop LCD monitor, a 3D projector, a 3D TV, or a laptop with an integrated 3D-capable LCD.
  • A discrete GPU such as the latest GeForce GPU’s from NVIDIA that are designed to deliver HD content to a 3D display.

NVIDIA calls the GTS 450 the “starter GPU for getting into 3D”. The GTS 450 fully supports NVIDIA Vision including Blu-ray 3D support. It also includes support for NVIDIA Vision Surround for multi-display 3D gaming.

Overall, the GTS 450 looks to be another exciting addition to the GeForce family!

Also tonight, NVIDIA has released the beta for their “Release 260” or “R260” driver package. This brand new driver package introduces a ton of new features including major performance enhancements for their entire GeForce line of GPUs. It brings Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio support over HDMI and they have completely redesigned the driver installer. The 3D Vision driver is now part of the display driver for supported GeForce GPUs – that means no more needing to install two separate driver packages for 3D Vision. The NVIDIA Control Panel for their GeForce GPUs has also gotten a much needed facelift including a brand new UI for connecting and arranging displays if you have multiple monitors connected to your PC.

Download NVIDIA’s Beta “Release 260” driver package here for 32-bit and here for 64-bit.