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Written by Bruce Normann   
Thursday, 04 February 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ATI Radeon HD5450 HTPC Video Card
Radeon HD5450 Features
Radeon HD5450 Specifications
Closer Look: Radeon HD 5450
Radeon HD5450 Detailed Features
ATI Eyefinity Multi-Monitors
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark Vantage Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Far Cry 2 Benchmarks
Resident Evil 5 Benchmarks
ATI Radeon HD5450 Temperature
VGA Power Consumption
Radeon HD5450 Final Thoughts
ATI Radeon HD5450 Conclusion

Radeon HD5450 Final Thoughts

Most everyone who reads this site is familiar with the concept of diminishing returns. As you get closer to the highest level of performance (let's call that 100 %...), it costs considerably more to get the last 10% of performance than it does to go from 80% to 90%. When you look at two gaming-class video cards using the same technology, the increase in frames-per-second doesn't match the increase in price. The HD5850 and the HD5870 are a good example; does the 33% increase in price give you a 33% increase in performance? You wish.....which is why lots more people are buying the HD5850.

Just as the law of diminishing returns works on the high end of the market, there is a corresponding force at work on the lower end of the scale. As you move closer to the lowest possible cost, you start to bounce up against fixed costs that won't budge. Marketing, sales, design, testing, certification processes, transportation, packaging, and connector costs are all stubbornly rigid. Right now, the cheapest cards at Newegg, based on NVIDIA and ATI chips are the 8400GS and HD4350, priced at $30 and $36, respectively. I dare say, we're not going to see any new cards introduced that will be any cheaper than these are; it's just not fiscally possible, if we assume that the vendor is going to make a profit.

My point is, the vendor can try and cut every possible feature, performance enhancing hardware, included software, industrial design, packaging costs, etc. and end up with a product that barely functions, and it would still probably cost $25 on the retailer's shelf.

In my review of the HD5670, I wondered out loud, "How many more times ATI can slice the pie and still come up with a fully functional video card? Could there be one more cut, for an ultra-low power solution? But I think this is probably it, for a card that can honestly support gaming applications as well as general usage and HD video." As it turns out, the Radeon HD5450 is that fully functional low-power card, and I still think the Redwood class of ATI GPUs is the lowest you can go and still support modern games. The game changes when you look at HD video, however. This card eats it up for breakfast, and still has some headroom left over for whatever HW acceleration scheme comes along next.


As I sit here on the edge of my chair, waiting for dribs and drabs of information about the latest monster-sized GPU chip from NVIDIA (...hey, they named them this week. Wow), with a die size approaching the dimensions of the original Post-It note, I did wonder what the attraction was to a discrete graphics card with a GPU that's less than half the size of a US dime. The answer is that even the best Integrated Graphics Processor (IGP) is still less than half as powerful as the Radeon HD5450, and they generally max out with 128MB of SidePort GDDR3 memory. Many of them struggle to render full HD 1080P video smoothly, and the CPUs that they are bundled with usually can't help the effort much.

So, grab that old microATX board out of the closet, dust it off, add the Radeon HD5450, drop it into a shiny new, slim line HTPC box and you're off to the movies in style.



# CompitableBhavesh Patel 2011-10-20 20:09
is ATI Radeon HD5450 compitable with intel dual core 2.8 Ghz processor ?
Please reply as early as possible
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# RE: CompitableOlin Coles 2011-10-20 21:17
Yes. All video cards are compatible with all processors. Just make sure the motherboard has a PCI-Express graphics slot.
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# RE: ATI Radeon HD5450 HTPC Video Cardmahmod 2012-03-08 07:50
how to make sure the mother board has a pci-slot?
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# Open up the box and look inside.Bruce 2012-03-08 08:29
Wikipedia has some good pictures on the PCI Express page that show what they look like
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# RE: ATI Radeon HD5450 HTPC Video CardHanzyy 2012-04-24 07:43
Is is good foor games?Will it play them fast? I don't know so much about hardware and stuff...
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# Not so muchBruce 2012-04-24 07:50
This card is on the low end of discrete graphics.
It's really better suited to a Home Theater PC.
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# Fan connectorRoger 2012-06-01 17:01
I see there is what looks like a fan connector on the card - is this correct and if so what would be the power specs for a fan?
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# YesBruce 2012-06-02 11:12
If you look at some of the other HD 5450 cards out on the market (Newegg has 34 models for sale, 2+ years after launch...!) you wll see that many of them have active cooling, with a fan plugged into this very same header. It's only two pins, so don't expect PWM or anything, just straight DC with no speed monitoring.
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# RE: Fan connectorTaimur 2013-02-05 10:52
The PCI slot has to have the little gap thing, the oppisite way around that does the graphics card have so for instance -- ---- and ---- -- and most of all if the the ports on the graphics card are pointing toward the outside, etc.
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# Re Fan ConnectorRoger 2012-06-02 18:10
Thanks for that Bruce,

Just to clarify such a connected fan would be of similar size and watts etc. to an inbuilt one?

Like I have a spare fan DC 12v 0.11A which is probably ok and another which is DC 12v 0.70A which is probably too powerful?
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# Yes, again....Bruce 2012-06-03 06:58
That's the idea. It's not going to be an exact science, but most fans that are small enough and thin enough to fit on that card's heatsink will be fine. I've been assuming that you want to cool the GPU on the HD 5450 with this fan... right?
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# Thats right Bruce...Roger 2012-06-03 22:01
I figure one cannot have enough fans (especially where I live in the tropics) so I might as well use a spare fan to play on the heatsink. The card will be on the bottom of the mobo with the heat sink facing down so I will mount the fan on the case bottom facing up to the heatsink.

Thanks again
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# RE: ATI Radeon HD5450 HTPC Video Cardjex2013 2013-03-05 18:43
I badly needed an htpc graphic card for my htpc. I am really having a hard time choosing because i really don't have any idea with these kind of things. But anyways, you're post is quite helpful. Thanks!
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# REPLY PLZZZAMINLRB 2013-03-08 13:33
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# No, It's NotBruce 2013-03-08 14:02
It is not good for high resolution games.
It was designed for HTPC use, which is much less demanding.
Plus, it was released three years ago, that's a LONG time in video card history. Why are you interested in it now? Can you even buy one in your location?
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