Zotac GTS 450 Eco Edition as dedicated PhysX card

A Review On: Zotac Geforce GTS 450 Eco Edition

Zotac Geforce GTS 450 Eco Edition

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Price paid: $90.00
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Pros: Single slot, does not need an external power, 192 Cuda Processors, dead cheap.

Cons: Non reference design so a water block cannot be installed, rather noisy fan when running @ full speed!

It will not be a typical review of a graphic card, what I want to achieve here is to show how great dedicated PhysX card relatively low end GTS 450 can be and maybe help you with a choice in the future.

Before I bought it I went through dozens of reviews and information on how to build a hybrid PhysX system and in the end I decided to go with Zotac GTS 450 Eco Edition.
There were a few different options I could go with at a time for a similar price between £50-£60, but I wanted something with as many Cuda Processors (responsible for generating PhysX effects) as it was possible in the price range given. Another important reason why I chose GTS 450 Eco Edition was that it only took 1 slot and did not need an external power connector, all the power it needed drew from PCI-E.

What you get in the box is a bare minimum:
- DVI to VGA adapter
- Manual
- Installation disk and
- Graphic Card, which looks like that:

How to Hybrid PhysX:
I will not write here how to enable Hybrid PhysX with non Nvidia GPU detected in the OS, as someone else has done that already, so I will just give you a link.

Some thoughts:
Am I happy with my choice? I think I am, so far the card coupled with HD 7850 played all the PhysX titles in 1920x1080 with all the bells and whistles like Antialiasing, Anisotropic Filtering on MAX!
It averaged 63 FPS in Mafia II Benchmark.
Made Borderlands 2 playable with PhysX effects at maximum, when with just HD 7850 and software PhysX game was rather choppy!

Testing and Results:
It has been proven in many benchmarks that a heavily overclocked Radeon HD 7850 can easily outperform Nvidia GTX 580, but coupled with a “little” GTS 450 outperforms it in dedicated PhysX benchmarks like FluidMark.

Test Rig:
Intel Core i5 2500K@5Ghz
MSI Z68A-GD65 (B3)
16GB XMS3 1900Mhz RAM
Sapphire Radeon HD 7850@1200Mhz with Catalyst 12.11 beta driver
Zotac GTS 450 Eco Edition@700Mhz with 306.23 driver
Corsair Force 3 128GB SSD
Windows 7 64bit Ultimate Edition


As you can see it comes ahead of GTX 480 and GTX 580 in 720p and 1080p. It cannot compete with mighty GTX 680, but it steals 2nd place in my small roundup…

What I also wanted to point out is the GPU usage during the test:

As you can see in 720p both of the graphic cards utilize the same amount of power, but in 1080p HD 7850 is running out of steam when GTS 450 is only using 53% of its rendering capabilities.
What does it mean you ask? It means that a “little” GTS 450 has prepared all the PhysX effects and is waiting for HD 7850 render everything else. It also shows, that GTS 450 should be a good PhysX dedicated card for much more powerful main cards like 2x HD 78xx in CrossFire or single HD 7950 or even HD 7970, before it starts running out of steam itself.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion:
If you have got one of the ATI cards like HD 7850, 7870, 7950 or 7970 and you really want PhysX effects in your games, go and get yourself a GTS 450, but if you are running some more powerful system with 2x HD 79xx in CrossFire and you still want PhysX effects think about something a bit more powerful like GTX 460, so it could keep up with your setup.
If you are buying a new card and want PhysX then do not bother with Hybrid setup and just buy yourself an Nvidia card, as it will work out cheaper and hassle free!

I hope you enjoyed my short review smile.gif


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