nVidia planning dual chip GTS450 card for November?

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Over the past few months, we’ve seen several strange things that, alone, probably don’t mean anything but, together, might suggest that a very interesting part is about to hit the market. Will nVidia attack the more powerful Radeon cards with a dual chip GTS450 solution? KitGuru dons night vision specs and a rubber wet suit (in the name of science) and investigates.

nVidia invented SLi. We can all argue about who’s idea it was to first put more than one graphics chip into a system, but when it comes to making dual chip solutions accessible to the mass market, then nVidia was definitely the pioneer.

Slowly at first (held back by Rich Heye and others), ATI started to consider the possibility that multi-GPU solutions might have a place in the market. More than anything, it was nVidia’s drive on dual slot mainboards that finally caused a reaction from ATI and CrossFire was born.

Now, many years on, nVidia has no chipset business to speak of and everyone has a multi-GPU solution. Not only that, but AMD has now included multi-GPU support within the core of the processor itself.

Multi-GPU chipset pioneer has no chipset and the Multi-GPU-a-phobe has it integrated into everything. Nice.

Having more than one GPU doesn’t always give you a huge boost, but it normally gives you something. Futuremark scores over play the benefits far too much, using alternate frame rendering (AFR) to effectively double the throughput when you use 2 cards at once. Let’s just say that, in the majority of cases, you will get a significant benefit by doubling the amount of graphics processing that your system offers, but you are at the mercy of driver teams more often than you would choose.

Then we come to the biggies. The fastest cards in the world. Each generation has had a dual-GPU mega card that simply slaps every other product silly. Right now, we can see the effect of that with the Radeon HD 5970. Unless nVidia finally pushes its 375w GTX490 into the market (as predicted by KitGuru back in May), nothing will touch the 5970.

We have seen 5970 at he high end. We all know about AMD Fusion’s ability to include multiple GPU cores in a single APU. What about the affordable mid-range?

Dual GTS450 GPU. If this card is made, will it be double length or a proper sandwich? Any suggestions welcome!

When we first heard about the GTS450, there were 2 variants on the sheets we received. We were uncertain how they related to each other – both seemed identical – but one rated at 75w and the second at 150w.

Second piece of info was the lack of a refresh part for the GTX470 and GTX480 – even though they both need it. While the timeline for GTX475 and 485 (if that’s what they’re finally called) moves later and later – maybe into 2011 – how does nVidia fight with AMD’s toughest products?

Lastly, the driver. nVidia released a driver which listed the GTS450 twice. Now why would you need 2 entries for one card?

We’re gonna go out on a limb and say that nVidia is preparing a dual-GTS450 card for launch in November which will retail in the UK at just over £200. The aim will be to knock sales of the Radeon HD 5850/5870 and also make life harder for the incoming Radeon 6000 parts.

Performance prediction? Depends on the benchmark, but you’d have to guess around 10% quicker than a Radeon HD 5850 and 10% slower than a 5870. So if you scored 36 frames per second in Crysis on a 5850 and 44 frames a second with the 5870, then the dual GPU GTS450 would splice-n-dice around 40 fps.  But it may not exist! Still, speculate to accumulate, that’s what we say.

KitGuru says: Dual-GPU technology is proven. It definitely works. Instead of competing with a brand new product, nVidia can easily strap 2 of the fast/cheap/clockable GTS450 GPUs to a single card, pick a sensible amount of memory, and score serious benchmarks. Come Xmas, will we stand proud or stand corrected? Also, what would you call this card?

Comment below or in the KitGuru forum.

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8 Comments
  • P1n3apqlExpr3ss
    September 15, 2010
    #1
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    “using alternate frame rendering (AFR)”
    Dont really know much about this but why dont games use this??

    And seems weird… why cant they just release a full GF104, will be cheaper for nvidia and more efficient…

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  • Jewish Tech freek
    September 15, 2010
    #2
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    This would actually be a really good move for Nvidia, the 450 is decent and low power drain, it wouldnt even need hardcore cooling

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  • Phil
    September 15, 2010
    #3
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    GTS 450 in SLI gives a little more performance than the GTX460
    - so this isn’t enough for a ‘GTX485′ product

    However, GTX460 in SLI gives +20% more performance than the GTX480
    - so this could be a viable GTX485 product

    The two GTS450 variants could be for the 128-bit & 192-bit memory versions…

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  • Jordan
    September 15, 2010
    #4
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    I also prefer to see dual GTX460. and if it fully loaded GF104 even better…

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  • JMke
    September 15, 2010
    #5
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    “nVidia invented SLi”
    yes & no … SLI is 3DFX brainchild
    NVIDIA perfected it, changed the acronym a bit
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scan-Line_Interleave

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  • rich the engineer
    September 15, 2010
    #6
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    GTS 450 gpu:
    fast? Not at stock frequency.
    cheap? Not to make, nVidia is barely breaking even, if even that.
    clockable? Sure, set stock frequencies low, then trumpet how much you can overclock. AFAIC, overclock frequency should be considered stock frequency.

    nVidia is desperate and continuing to lose grip on reality. Time to order that padded room for JHH and his cohorts.

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  • DvP
    September 16, 2010
    #7
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    @ JMke

    nVidia perfected SLI? 3dfx’ SLI just worked without any flaws and made everything faster (and enabled higher resolutions). nVidias SLI doesn’t!

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  • Hakuren
    September 16, 2010
    #8
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    Mid-range dual GPU VGAs, bring them on!!! Sick and tired of SLI/CF configurations. SLI/CF is only viable option for avid gamers who using case purely for VGAs “storage”.

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