Product: EVGA GeForce GTS 450 FTW Edition Video Card
Company: EVGA
Authour: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: September 13th, 2010
NVIDIA GF106 - Price Adjustments and Drivers

The newest Fermi derivative is GF106, and uses the same 48 CUDA core cluster per Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) as GF104, better known as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460. In fact, the GF106 looks a lot like a GF104 halved; the full core has three ROP partitions, three 64-bit memory interfaces, four SMs and one Graphics Processing Cluster (GPC).

FERMI GF106
FERMI GF106

The GF106 found in the NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 has one memory interface and one ROP partition disabled, to hit the right balance of power and performance for the target price. Like the GF104, each CUDA core contains a polymorph engine and four dispatch units. This translates to 32 texture units and 16 ROPs.

GTS 450 Core
GTS 450 Core

Interestingly, the NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 is only two-way SLI capable, featuring only a single SLI finger connector. The GF104 GPU supports NVIDIA 3D Vision, and Surround with the addition of a second card.

Price Adjustments

NVIDIA's price adjustments align the enthusiast GTX range cards to nicely cover the spread of performance/price up to the high end. This move could be in preparation for the new AMD mid-range enthusiast cards rumored to be launching in October, codenamed 'Barts' (a part of the 'Northern Islands' family). If the expected launch pricing of $230-250 is correct, the GTX 460 1GB and GTX 465 will be priced very competitively.

NVIDIA Forceware 260 Series Drivers

Today also marks the introduction of NVIDIA's 260 series Forceware drivers. These drivers offer improved performance for SLI and single GPU GeForce 400 series configurations, as well as supporting the new GTS 450 series products. Enhancements for NVIDIA 3D vision and Surround are also included, although we have been unable to verify these claims, lacking a suitable 3D display and second GTS 450.

NVIDIA Forceware 260 Series
NVIDIA Forceware 260 Series

A new installer is also featured, which works differently from AMD's Catalyst Install Manager. Installing NVIDIA's Forceware 260 series driver will uninstall previous versions of the Forceware software and reboot the machine, continuing installation after you log in again; it also allows for a 'clean' install option, removing all previous configuration entries. The core driver and control panel are installed, along with optional PhysX and Stereo3D drivers. The process is very smooth and swift. Below you can see some screenshots of the installer in action.

Custom Install
Custom Install

Select Components
Select Components

After selecting your options, the installer takes care of the rest, removing old versions as well as installing new.

Removing Old PhysX
Removing Old PhysX

Auto Reboot
Auto Reboot

And now for something completely ... the same:

Graphics Driver Install
Graphics Driver Install

PhysX install
PhysX install

Once completed, the installation status is displayed and you will be prompted if a reboot is required.

Reboot To Activate
Reboot To Activate

The new installer looks modern and professional, is quick to respond and install drivers, and has a very welcome option in the 'clean install' selection.


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