The increased power consumption of the current generation of GPUs has kept graphics cards makers from developing too many passively cooled solutions, but Asus has somehow managed to break free of these restrictions and is getting ready to release a passively cooled Nvidia GTS 450 card.Asus' creation will use the company's trademark DirectCu cooling system which relies on two direct contact heatpipes to draw the heat away from the GPU and into an aluminum heatsink.
This takes two PCI slots inside the system case and even protrudes beyond the margins of the graphics printed circuit board.
Speaking of which, Asus has redesigned the PCB to make it shorter and to decrease the power consumption of its card, which can now function without requiring any additional power outside of the 75W provided by the PCI Express slot.
In order to achieve this feat, Asus also had to lower the operating frequencies of its creation as the GPU is now clocked at 594MHz, while the 1GB of DDR3 memory works at 800MHz (1600MHz data rate).
In comparison, the standard version of the GTS 450 comes with a 783MHz core clock and with 1GB of GDDR5 memory that is running at 902MHz (3.608GHz data rate).
Taking a look at the difference in clock speeds, it becomes apparent that Asus' solution will lag behind most other GTS 450 available out there, so this graphics card can only be recommended to those users who value silence above everything else.
Asus' passively cooled GTS 450 comes with all the usual video outputs, including dual-link DVI, HDMI and D-Sub.
No details regarding pricing and availability have been disclosed by the company at this point.
The GTS 450 is built on Nvidia's GF106 core and it packs 192 stream processors, 32 texture units, 16 ROP units, and a 128-bit wide memory bus. (via Xfastest)