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MSI GeForce GTS 450 Cyclone review

Cheap but very, very cheerful

The MSI GeForce 450 Cyclone lives up to expectations. It's a healthy step up from a vanilla GTS 450 in terms of performance, and is excellent value for money. 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 1920x1080 barring Just Cause 2.

But there's a lot of competition in the less-than-£150 price bracket, and it's not quite an outright "must buy".

Regardless of fans and overclocks, the basic GeForce GTS 450 is still just about half of a GeForce 460 with a higher clockspeed 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 has 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.
Adam Oxford

We liked

It delivers top performance for a card costing just a bit over £100, and narrowly beats the AMD HD 5770 into submission by three falls to one or more 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 or an HTPC.

We disliked

As big an improvement as it is over the stock GTS 450 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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Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerNVIDIA
Chipset ModelGTS 450
HDMIYes
Chipset LineGeForce
Chipset SeriesGTS 400
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1600
Brand NameMSI
Standard Memory1 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 2.0 x16
HDCP SupportedYes
Bus Width128 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologySLI
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
RAMDAC Speed400 MHz
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
DVIYes
Number of DVI Outputs2
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height111 mm
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Length210 mm
ManufacturerMicro-Star International Co., Ltd
Memory Speed4000 MHz
Product ModelN450GTS CYCLONE 1GD5/OC
Product NameN450GTS CYCLONE 1GD5/OC GeForce GTS 450 Graphics Card
Manufacturer Part NumberN450GTS CYCLONE 1GD5/OC
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.msicomputer.com
Marketing Information

Leading international graphics card maker MSI has always been a key player in the competitive graphics card market. Thanks to its strong R&D capabilities and outstanding product performance, MSI's products have always received high acclaim by the media and consumers throughout the world.

Thickness35 mm
Weight (Approximate)450 g
API SupportedOpenGL 4.0, DirectX 11.0, OpenCL, DirectCompute 5.0