ASUS is a brand which is well known for manufacturing graphic cards from both – NVIDIA as well as AMD. The Taiwanese company have launched the ASUS ENGTS450 Direct CU which is based on the reference model from NVIDIA, the GTS 450. As with most GPUs from ASUS, they incorporate their own design implementations and tweaks to get the best out of the card. Overclocking is one of the core aspects of this mainstream card that is designed to appeal to casual gamers. Read on to find out whether it's worth your hard earned cash.

Heat pipes aid in the cooling

Heat pipes aid in the cooling

Design and Features
The ENGTS450 does not deviate much in terms of design as compared to the reference model from NVIDIA. The ENGTS450 comes built with 1GB of DDR5 memory. Connectivity options found on this card are DVI, D-Sub and HDMI. In addition to this, it also features NVIDIA’s multi GPU SLI technology along with 3D Vision, DirectX 11 and PhysX support that all aid in the performance of this card. With support for SLI, it should make for a good dual-GPU solution.

ASUS claims that this card is overclocked with the GPU running at 925 MHz out of the box. It features a memory clock of 950 MHz. The stock ENGTS 450 runs at a speed of 783 MHz so that's a good boost right there. ASUS claims that by using the Voltage Tweak software, this card can be overclocked even further to perform up to 50 percent faster. As for the design aspect, there are two heat pipes that run toward the centre of the card. This heat is then transferred to the fins which is eventually cooled by the fan. This system helps ASUS achieve a much lower temperature even under load. This design should hopefully result in good temperatures while running games.

HDMI, DVI and D-Sub output options

HDMI, DVI and D-Sub output options

Test Rig Specifications
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40 GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE P67A-UD3R
Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 6 GB DDR3 (3 x 2 GB)
Hard drive: WD Velociraptor  300 GB
GPU: ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCU TOP/DI/1GD5
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro 1000W

Performance
The ASUS ENGTS450 did pretty well in terms of performance. While running the 3D Mark test we noted that the card scored 12477 points with a GPU reading of 9993. In real world test, the card did a lot better than most of the cards in the same price range. Using a screen resolution of 1680 x 1050, Resident Evil 5 had an average frame rate of 68.4 fps while the older game Fry Cry 2 ran at 67.09 fps. Other games which we ran were Dirt 2 which scored an average frame rate of 64.8, Mafia 2 at 56.08 fps and Just Cause 2 which noted a frame rate of 47.12. The Heaven benchmark, being a heavy benchmarking tool ran slightly slower at 51.7 fps with a resolution of 1280 x 1024.

Benchmarks

Benchmarks

We recorded this temperature by using the FurMark benchmark that stresses the card a lot. During the temperature test, the idle temperature seen was 36 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature noted was 67 degrees Celsius. The card was pretty quiet as well.

Powerful mainstream card

Powerful mainstream card

Verdict
The ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCU TOP sells at a market operating price of Rs. 8,000. This is a mainstream card that can handle a fair amount of load. Bear in mind that all these tests were run at a resolution below 1080p. However, with its slightly overclocked speeds, it should be just about able to run games at 1920×1080 resolutions. If you're a casual gamer, you won't be disappointed. 

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