Today, NVIDIA launched its GeForce GTS 450 graphics processor, with all its partners bringing out their implementations. If you haven't read our reviews of the AXLE GeForce GTS 450 OC, ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCu TOP, MSI N450GTS Cyclone OC, Zotac GeForce GTS 450 AMP!, or the Palit GeForce GTS 450 Sonic Platinum, please do so, to understand what the card is worth in its single GPU form, it will factor heavily in your decision to buy one card first and add one in SLI later, or even buying two cards at once, for the kicks.
The GeForce GTS 450 supports 2-way NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU technology, which allows you to upscale performance by pairing your GTS 450 card with another GTS 450 of any other make. Since this is a mid-range, mainstream GPU, you will be hard pressed to buy two cards in one go, because for the same money you can buy a high-end single-GPU graphics card. What makes SLI a viable thing is the flexibility it offers to value-conscious buyers. If you have an SLI-compatible motherboard, you can just buy one GeForce GTX 460 card now and get gaming right away, later (we're talking months down the line), you can buy another of these cards to significantly increase graphics performance, which will also allow you to step up resolutions and eye-candy or keep up with the ever more complex games of the day.
In this review we're going to show you what to expect from NVIDIA's GeForce GTS 450 SLI, a roughly $260 solution at present. But don't be alarmed with the $260 figure, because by the time you're ready to buy your second card, you can expect the prices of these cards to go down by a good bit.
In addition to testing two cards at the NVIDIA reference clock speeds of 783 MHz core and 900 MHz memory, we also reviewed two cards running at 850 MHz core and 1000 MHz memory which represents the combination of two typical factory-overclocked GTS 450 cards.