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The GTS 450 is a 2-slot card that is about 8.25” in length. This is much shorter than the GeForce GTX 480 cards and two slot cards are the norm in this day and age. The reference card has a heatsink that runs the length of the card with a 9 fin heatsink in the center to cool the graphics chip when running. One cool thing about the fan on this card is the quietness. Two cards in SLI mode barely make any noise.
The back of the card has the mounting bracket and memory chips. There are four memory chips in a L-shaped configuration on the back of the card. The traces and configuration indicate a 128-bit memory bus. As the reference card is clocked at 900MHz, 3600MHz effective for GDDR5 memory, this brings a memory bandwidth of 57.7GB/second.
The GeForce GTS 450 has a single 6-pin power connector on the rear of the PCB. The card itself has a maximum TDP (Thermal Design Power) draw of 106W, which is far below that of the GeForce GTX 480 and 470 cards. As the GTS 450 is designed for the mainstream, 106W is perfectly acceptable and just 31W more than the PCI Express bus provides to the card.
NVIDIA decided to go with two Dual-Link DVI connections and a mini-HDMI connection as the standard connectors for their reference GTS 450. As most HDTVs and monitors use either HDMI or Dual-Link DVI, especially in the target markets, the connections make sense. If you want to use a different connection to the card, such as a D-sub VGA or two, adapters are required.