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Old 09-13-10, 12:17 PM   #3
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Testing (Torture) Environment

NV News is testing both the reference card and the EVGA FTW Edition in what I like to call a “Torture Test Bed”. Consistent with the last two EVGA video card reviews from NV News, an AMD DDR2-based setup will be used, but this time there are some differences. In this system, the case is older (read: ancient) and doesn’t ventilate as good. There are two of the hottest hard drives I’ve ever touched humming along in a RAID 0 configuration, and lastly the power supply is more of a midgrade unit. It is the opinion of the author that this configuration represents the average gamer’s system quite well. For what it’s worth, as far as review platforms are concerned, this is the last go-around for non-SSD boot drives and Windows Vista for this author.


NVIDIA Reference GTS 450 at stock clocks (783/1566 core, 3600 memory) using NVIDIA driver 260.52

EVGA GTS 450 FTW Edition at stock clocks (925/1850 core, 4100 memory) using NVIDIA driver 260.52

  • AMD Phenom II x6 1055t @ 250x12.5 (3.13ghz)
  • Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G mATX motherboard
  • 2x2gb OCZ Reaper HPC DDR2 1150 @ 1000mhz
  • X-Clio GoodPower 500W Power Supply
  • 2x120gb Maxtor Diamondmax 9 ATA-133 (suing SATA-PATA adapters) hard drives in RAID 0
  • Cybertron Steel ATX case, model year 2002 (I told you it was old!)
  • Onboard audio
  • LG DVD-RW Drive
  • Kingwin compact keyboard (laptop profile keys)
  • Microsoft Sidewinder x5 mouse
  • Creative Inspire 2.1 speaker setup

Display output is through a Samsung B2430H 24" 5ms 1080p LCD, a fine value-priced choice in the 24” range. Operating system is Vista Home Premium x64 SP2, a recent install with a bare minimum of programs installed.

Obviously this system is a bit of a mix of old and new, and straddles the line between midgrade and high-end as far as performance is concerned. The x6 is at home in the AM3-certified Gigabyte motherboard along with come fairly quick DDR2, but the two Diamondmax 9s and case (and the OS) are a bit out-of place. If it weren’t for the decent transfer speeds of the Maxtors and ease of use of the case (and the author’s happiness with an optimized Vista installation, they’d have been replaced long ago.

Test Suite:
  • Synthetic benchmarks:
  • Unigine Heaven 2.1
  • Stone Giant
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • GXL ShaderToyMark
  • TessMark

Gaming benchmarks:
  • Metro 2033
  • Mafia II Demo (CPU and GPU PhysX)
  • Lost Planet 2 Benchmark
  • DIRT 2
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  • Mirror’s Edge (with PhysX Enabled)
  • Kayne and Lynch 2 Demo
  • Far Cry 2
  • Battlefield 2142
  • Alien Swarm

Testing Methodology:

For this review we will be comparing the performance of the NVIDIA Reference GTS 450 against that of the EVGA GTS 450 FTW Edition. Both are tested at stock speeds.

Benchmark results for both synthetic benchmarks and game tests are the results of averaged multiple runs.

Most gaming tests were performed at a resolution of 1680x1050 with 4x Antialiasing and 16x Anisotropic Filtering enabled, which is NVIDIA's target resolution and IQ setting.

Next: Performance Results
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