Home theater PC enthusiasts want their HD video and Blu-ray discs to run smoothly, dammit, and the HTPC doing to the leg work had better being whisper-quiet doing it. Zotac is a company that has made its name by catering to the demanding HTPC crowd, and a product they’ve announced today continues that razor-sharp focus: the GeForce GTS 450 ZONE Edition graphics card mixes DirectX 11 visuals with a fan-less cooling system that helps keep noise to a minimum.
We’d paraphrase, but Zotac says it best for themselves. From the press release:
The ZOTAC GeForce GTS 450 ZONE Edition takes the award-winning GeForce GTS 450 graphics processor with 192 high-performance shaders and passively cools it using a ZOTAC-exclusive dual-slot fan-less cooling system that features copper heat-pipes and aluminum fins to keep the graphics processor cool while operating silently.
On top of being virtually silent (according to Zotac), the GeForce GTS 450 ZONE Edition includes 1GB of DDR3 memory (as opposed to 1GB of GDDR5 on the standard GeForce GTS 450), a 1080p HDMI output, and DVI and DisplayPort connections. If you have the right hardware/software combo, Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio is supported, too. The internals have been a bit slowed down compared to the standard GeForce GTS 450: Zotac’s version has a 600 MHz GPU clock speed and a 1333 MHz memory clock speed, down from 783 MHz and 1804 MHz speeds (respectively) in the base model. It may not be a Crysis-crushing powerhouse, but Zotac claims this graphics card will play 3D Blu-ray discs without a hitch.
“With the ZOTAC GeForce GTS 450 ZONE Edition we struck the perfect balance of 3D performance and energy-efficiency to eliminate the cooling fan, as well as the external power connector,” Carsten Berger, Zotac’s marketing director, said in the company’s press release.