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In terms of the performance of the ASUS GeForce GTS 450 DirectCU TOP card, the card outperforms the standard reference design by a good healthy margin and in fact outperforms AMD’s HD 5770 across the board. The card has special features including the Xtreme Design features ASUS has introduced with it and a DirectCU cooler for excellent cooling and temperatures even while under load. The GeForce GTS 450 is a decent competitor to the HD 5750 but this card is solid against the HD 5770, which is slightly more expensive but as this is a non-reference design, the costs on this card should be higher than a reference design one.
The ability to overvolt the card for the serious overclockers means that this card can reach even higher clock speeds with non-standard cooling solutions. Be aware that the card is overclocked out of the box to beyond the levels NVIDIA talked about during the briefing on the GTS 450; meaning ASUS has really done a great job with performance exceeding 10% of the reference card across the board. ASUS has also decided to offer this card at a mere $139, which makes it only $10 above the NVIDIA suggested price bracket for this card. Excellent job by ASUS on this card all around the fastest example of a GTS 450 I have seen to date. ASUS has also included their SmartDoctor and OSD overclocking and hardware monitoring tools to give the user the full experience.