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Budget Graphics Options Discrete 5450 vs. Integrated 4250

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 31, 2011 1:20:16 PM

I will include the components below for reference, but I think my only question is between a discrete Radeon HD 5450 with 512MB or integrated 4250 with 8GB system memory. Which is the better graphics option?


$20 ASUS EAH5450 Radeon HD 5450 512MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 BIOSTAR A870U3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR

$60 BIOSTAR A880G+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So the discrete option costs $5 more, but apparently the motherboard sold out on Newegg while I was writing this post. However, I am still interested in all of your opinions on these two setups.
a b U Graphics card
August 31, 2011 3:24:32 PM

Almost any discrete graphics card will outperform an integrated graphics solution, particularly when the integrated one uses system ram.
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August 31, 2011 3:30:16 PM

That is where most of my confusion comes from I guess. The 5450 only has 512MB, but how much of the system memory does the integrated 4250 get to use? And since I would have, what I consider, an abundance of RAM at 8GB, I don't think I mind sharing with the GPU.
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a b U Graphics card
August 31, 2011 3:39:40 PM

bucpound said:
That is where most of my confusion comes from I guess. The 5450 only has 512MB, but how much of the system memory does the integrated 4250 get to use? And since I would have, what I consider, an abundance of RAM at 8GB, I don't think I mind sharing with the GPU.

The only time you need more that 512 MB of ram for graphics is when you are driving high resolution( above 1920x1080) displays with large texture files. Also the ram on a discrete card is faster(ddr5) than system memory(ddr3). the discrete card has its own memory controller, and doesn't have to share it with the rest of the system as the integrated graphics does. So, yes, theoretically, integrated graphics has more available ram than the discrete card, but unless you are using it, it won't make a difference.

I would rather have a faster card with less ram than a slower solution with more ram. :bounce: 
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a c 363 U Graphics card
August 31, 2011 8:53:12 PM

The Radeon HD 5450 is not fast enough to use more than 512MB of RAM.

In fact, the faster Radeon HD 5670 cannot effectively use more than 512MB either. The performance difference between a HD 5670 512MB and HD 5670 1GB is less than 2 frames, and that is usually at resolutions of 1920x1080 or higher. It's a moot point since the HD 5670 is not really good for playing games at 1920x1080 or higher unless you do mind having the graphics quality set to medium or low if you attempt to play games on a 2560x1600 resolution monitor.
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August 31, 2011 9:03:22 PM

I think you guys both said pretty much the same thing, but jaguar put it in the terms I was looking for. That raises an additional question, is the 5450 gonna be able to do 1080p video no problem over hdmi?
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a c 106 U Graphics card
August 31, 2011 9:11:40 PM

Yes the 5450 is faster (about twice as fast), but it's still slow. It's like saying 8mph is twice as fast as 4mph. Yeah that seems fast to the guy going 4mph or the guy walking, but to the guy going 60mph down the freeway in a cheap chevy aveo both seem equally slow :D 
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August 31, 2011 9:16:34 PM

Yeah, I hear you, but I don't really play too many games. Just trying to get a card for $20 that will put 1080p up on a projector, well hopefully. What is this cheap chevy aveo you speak of?
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a c 106 U Graphics card
August 31, 2011 9:33:37 PM

In comparison that aveo would be a Radeon 5670 which is really the bear minimum for gaming nowadays :D 
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September 7, 2011 12:24:10 PM

Best answer selected by bucpound.
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