We have a little treat in store for silent HTPC enthusiasts – a review of ASUS' ENGTS450 DirectCU Silent.

Nearly all modern GPUs are designed for use with active cooling systems, in order to allow for desirable levels of performance within a reasonable form factor. To take a GPU intended for active cooling and cool it passively would entail a compromise in performance, size, or both.

The passive graphics card we're looking at today is ASUS' ENGTS450 DirectCU Silent. While the GeForce GTS 450 is by no means the fastest GPU around, its relatively low TDP of 106W (for NVIDIA's reference design) makes it a good candidate for passive cooling.

In the case of the ENGTS450 DirectCU Silent, ASUS has decided to sacrifice performance instead of size. The core clock on this card is ~25% slower than NVIDIA's reference speed. ASUS has also opted to use DDR3 memory, which has lower power consumption but also much lower bandwidth than GDDR5 memory.

In terms of performance, the reference GTS 450 sits roughly in between AMD's HD 5770 and HD 5750 (now renamed the HD 6770 and HD 6750 respectively).

  ASUS ENGTS 450 DirectCU Silent NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Gainward GeForce GTS 450 GS GLH
Core Clock 594MHz 783MHz 930MHz
Shader Clock 1188MHz 1566MHz 1860MHz
Memory Clock
Memory Bus 128-bit
Memory Type DDR3 GDDR5
Memory Size 1GB

The full specifications of the ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCU Silent are as follows:

Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
Bus Standard PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory GDDR3 1GB
Engine Clock 594 MHz
Shader Clock 1189 MHz
Memory Clock 1.6 GHz ( 800 MHz GDDR3 )
Memory Interface 128-bit
Interface D-Sub Output : Yes x 1
DVI Output : Yes x 1 (DVI-I)
HDMI Output : Yes x 1
Software ASUS Utilities & Driver / AIWI software
ASUS Features DirectCU Silent Series
Dimensions 5.936 " x 4.375 " Inch
Note This card doesn't need extra power supply,
it's the best choice for user to upgrade