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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

Closer Look: Radeon HD5450

The HD5450 is a radically different design from the previous HD5xxx video cards. From several perspectives, the intended application for this diminutive card has driven a different approach. Physically, everything is smaller, to accommodate usage in low-profile HTPC cases. The sample card I received has a full height I/O bracket, but the DE15HD VGA connector is wired with ribbon cable and is removable, or it can be relocated to an adjacent slot. This way, the card can be easily reconfigured to a true half-height form factor. The card itself is only about an inch longer than the PCI-e interface that it connects to.


Power consumption is at an all-time low, primarily to avoid generating heat. Again, this is an optimum solution for HTPC, where lower power means less ventilation and, ultimately, less overall noise. The video card we're looking at here is passively cooled, with a lovely red anodized heat sink that is reminiscent of the ASUS ROG heat sinks, used on their gaming oriented motherboards. ATI's AIB partners will have considerable flexibility for their cooling solutions, allowing them to optimize their offerings along several product pathways. I expect some fan-cooled designs to be recycled, in order to reduce costs, where possible. But for now, we can gaze upon one of the most attractive passive cooling solutions I've seen on a video card.


The connections on the I/O plate at the rear of the card are arranged in a common configuration for this class of video card. From left to right: one VGA, one HDMI and one DVI connector - one for everyone. This card did not have a DisplayPort connection, which is required for a three monitor Eyefinity setup. There will be some flexibility in the I/O port arrangement for ATI partners, so pay attention to the product specs when you buy, as it can be hard to tell the HDMI and DisplayPort connections apart with a casual glance.


One thing that becomes obvious when looking at the end-on image above is that this particular passive cooling hardware consumes more than one expansion slot. That may be an issue for some, but remember, there will be a variety of options available from the AIB partners.

The back of the Radeon HD5450 is not quite as densely packed as some of the uber-cards we test here at Benchmark Reviews, but it's about half-filled with miniature surface-mount-technology components. The main feature to be seen here is the metal cross-brace for the GPU heatsink screws, which are spring loaded, and connect to threaded standoffs on the heat sink assembly on the front side of the card. Also, note that back side DRAM is used, even for the 512MB version of the card.


For most high-end video cards, the cooling system is an integral part of the performance envelope for the card. Make it run cooler, and you can make it run faster was always the byword for achieving gaming-class performance from the latest and greatest GPU. The HD5450 takes a completely different path, more appropriate for the HTPC application it will most likely be used for. By greatly reducing the number of Stream Processors and ROP units, they have built a GPU that consumes so little power, and generates so little waste heat, that cooling is not the limiting factor in performance.


That's all there really is to see on the outside, so let's peel back the covers and have a good look around on the inside.



# 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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