Hello, so I currently have a OEM HP computer with AMD Athlon ii x4 645 processor, 6GB DDR3-1333 RAM, and an onboard HD4200@stock (500MHz). I mainly use it to watch videos, although I do play FS2004 (which is old). It runs really cool, with case/cpu temps peaking at 30C at max. The thing is, I may also want to use it to do some light gaming (eg. CoD, BF3, NFS, etc) once in a long while (don't have much spare time). I am okay with playing them at 1024x768 with max textures (but with lowest settings for stuff like shadows/reflections, etc), and so I was wondering if there is any point in upgrading to the HD5450 (which is the best card my 250Watt PSU can safely power). I know that it boasts a 25%ish increase over the HD4200, but is it really worth it considering that I have to spend an extra $60 and run the possiblity of a heat issue/PSU failure?) The only settings I care about in games are texture quality so I don't need all that power for shadows, lighting, and all those fancy effects. Thanks! I really don't want to upgrade my PSU, as a bigger card would not fit in the case anyway and thats just more hassle.
The 5450 is a really weak card that isn't meant for gaming at all, it's only marginally better than your integrated graphics. If you have a 250 Watt PSU you should be able to power up to a 5570 without much trouble. The 5570 would give you much better gaming performance, and might actually have a shot at running BF3. While CoD and NFS would be playable with the 5450; I doubt you would get playable framerates in BF3, even on the lowest possible settings. BF3 needs more GPU horsepower than a lot of other titles, even on the lowest possible settings.
they are both poor choices for any type of gaming. BF3 is absolutiely out of the question. Loot at the minimum, and preferably the recommended requirements of the games you want to play. The 5450 does not meet the minimum for most recent games.