We decided to test the Radeon HD 5450 against its primary competition in the $40 to $50 price segment. This includes its predecessors, the Radeon HD 4550 and 4650, the GeForce 210 and DDR2-based GeForce 9500 GT.
First, we must note that the Radeon HD 5450 sample we received was tuned to a 900 MHz memory clock, which is 100 MHz faster than the reference specification. Since the beta driver necessary for use with this card doesn't support Overdrive (and our overclocking tools weren't able to properly identify the card), we were stuck with the overclock. An AMD representative offered to let us retest with a new card, but that came just hours before the embargo lift, leaving too little time for new numbers.
Getting the GeForce cards to do what we wanted proved to be a little more complicated, as both are factory-overclocked models and the newest 196.21 driver broke all of our overclocking tools. RivaTuner, MSI Afterburner, and Gigabyte's Gamer HUD Lite were unusable on our test system. In addition, the GeForce 9500 GT test sample we had was a DDR3-based model that is priced too high to compete fairly.
Our solution for the 9500 GT, a factory-overclocked Gigabyte GV-N95TD3-512I, was to use the older 195.62 driver to enable overclocking tools and then underclock the core to 550 MHz and the memory to 450 MHz. This should give us results comparable to a reference GeForce 9500 GT. We allowed the 50 MHz memory speed advantage versus the reference DDR2 model in an attempt to negate the notable latency disadvantage that the DDR3 memory would suffer.
As for the GeForce 210, we left the clock speeds at the factory setting and used the newest 196.21 driver. Why did we do this? Most important, the overclocked Gigabyte card can be purchased for $42 online, which is notably below the Radeon HD 5450's $50 price tag.
While the Radeon HD 5450 is admittedly intended for low-impact gaming scenarios, we will put it through a gamut of game tests at lower settings to see if the card is able to slog through some of the titles we enjoy.
|Graphics Test System|
Intel Core i7-920 (Nehalem), 2.67 GHz, QPI-4200, 8MB Shared L3 Cache
ASRock X58 SuperComputer
|Networking||Onboard Realtek Gigabit LAN controller|
ATI Radeon HD 5450
Sapphire Radeon HD 4650
Diamond Radeon HD 4550
Gigabyte GeForce 9500 GT
650 MHz Core, 1,547 MHz Shaders, 400 MHz Memory, 512MB DDR2
Western Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA
Thermaltake Toughpower 1,200W
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit 6.0.6001, SP1|
|DirectX version||DirectX 10|
AMD Catalyst 10.1, Nvidia GeForce 195.62 (GeForce 9500 GT), 196.21 (GeForce 210)
Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 9, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
|Far Cry 2|
Patch 1.02, in-game benchmark
|DiRT 2||Version 1.0.0, Custom THG Benchmark|
Run 1: Medium Settings, No AA, DirectX 9
Run 2: Medium Settings, No AA, DirectX 11
|World In Conflict|
Patch 1009, DirectX 9, timedemo
|Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.|
Patch 1.02, DirectX 10 & 10.1, in-game benchmark
|Left 4 Dead|
Version 184.108.40.206., Custom THG Benchmark
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
Version: 1.02, PhysX Off, 3DMark scores
- A Radeon For The Rest Of Us?
- ATI's Radeon HD 5450 Architecture
- Budget Eyefinity
- HTPC And Stream
- Radeon HD 5450: The Reference Card
- Test Setup And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: 3DMark Vantage And Far Cry 2
- Benchmark Results: Crysis And World In Conflict
- Benchmark Results: Left 4 Dead And H.A.W.X.
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And DirectX 11
- Anti-Aliasing And Anisotropic Filtering
- Power And Temperature Benchmarks