ATI Radeon 5450 Review

By on February 4, 2010, 3:47 AM
Since releasing the first Radeon HD 5000 series graphics card some four months ago, AMD has continued its assault on Nvidia with an army of new models. Following the Radeon HD 5870 came the 5850, 5770, 5750, 5970 and most recently the 5670, while today yet another new product is set to make its first appearance. The new Radeon HD 5450, code-named Cedar Pro, will be the most affordable graphics card belonging to the HD 5000 series. This is also the first on AMD’s latest wave of graphics products to do away with GDDR5 memory, replacing it with older GDDR3. Naturally, the Radeon HD 5450 is not designed exclusively for 3D gaming and certain versions will support advanced features such as Eyefinity.
The Radeon HD 5450 is stepping in to replace the Radeon HD 4350 graphics card which currently retails for as little as $35 - $40 (512MB) and $45 - $50 (1GB). AMD expects to ask between $50 - 60 for the new HD 5450, but we believe those prices should settle down a little closer to the levels of the older HD 4350 when old inventory is depleted. Read the complete review.




User Comments: 102

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Puiu Puiu said:

This is way too underpowered. The 5500 series should be much better, but if you want gaming then 5770 is the cheapest you should buy.

Guest said:

What a waste of time... reviewing this card!

BMfan BMfan said:

Not everyone is a gamer like you guys,there are people that would be interested in much power it consumes.

ATI wouldn't bring out a card like this if people didn't buy them.

There's nothing wrong with this card,it's faster than the card it's replacing.

Regenweald said:

The first two comments are kind of sad really, what about HTPC owners/makers and people who DO NOT PLAY GAMES ? and yes, such a human exists whose sole driving force is NOT FPS. looks like a great low power card for great HD video playback.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@BMfan and @Regenweald hit the nail on the head. This is a perfect fit for a small form-factor HTPC (it can run well in half-height configuration with no cooling issues). Seriously, if you are a gamer and even looking at a sub-$50 card to begin with, you've obviously got no clue. Unless, of course, your gaming consists of nothing but Solitaire and online flash games. In which case, this card would work great! heh

unrealmp3 unrealmp3 said:

Seeing how the connectors are placed, that would be a good card for Small Form Factor systems, commonly found in corporations.

Being able to change the bracket and put the VGA connector on the next slot is a nice option.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Glad to see they left the 3 monitor support in this low end card. It is actually kind of tempting to pick one up just for that.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This is a perfect card for the builds I do for relatives (mainly older) who want nothing more than to do Internet surfing, watch an occasional You Tube and playing Farmville and Bejeweled.

MrAnderson said:

Don't we expect the more powerful cards to run better at the resolutions you use in this review? I don't see a real good reason for compare cards at this price point at these reasolutions unless you findings are miraculous. I feel there is a lack of comparisons on a variety of lower resolution setting that are still resonable for gaming.

Sure the 1050 kinda covers what the performance might be like for 1080, but what about 720? Some people might have small game boxies for LAN parties or even connect to an HD TV instead of a standard monitor. Moreover, unless you test at standard HD resolutions we will never know if AMD has optimized these cards for 720/1080 resolutions.

I know it takes time to run these tests on all cards (trust me I appreciate the insight), but I believe it would be very helpful to give us the stats at lower resolutions for the card as an FYI. I mean, come on, I'm not expecting the card for the price to run well at the resolutions you tested. With all the complexities of drivers and hardware, there might be a sweet spot you missed that could be just right for other people.

Cheers

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@mranderson - I was thinking a bit along the same lines as I read the review. There almost needs to be a separate category of testing for those using standard HD resolutions, to see what the performance is at those standard 702 and 1080 resolutions... Particularly for cards like this, which seem perfect for an HTPC application.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Not everyone is a gamer like you guys,there are people that would be interested in much power it consumes.

ATI wouldn't bring out a card like this if people didn't buy them.

There's nothing wrong with this card,it's faster than the card it's replacing.

So it doesn't bother you that the Radeon HD 4650 and GeForce GT 220 are the same price, yet considerably more powerful? It's not faster than the card its replacing, what is it replacing at $60?

The first two comments are kind of sad really, what about HTPC owners/makers and people who DO NOT PLAY GAMES ? and yes, such a human exists whose sole driving force is NOT FPS. looks like a great low power card for great HD video playback.

I agree but for the same price we have had cards that are great for HD video playback for the last 12 months plus.

This is a perfect card for the builds I do for relatives (mainly older) who want nothing more than to do Internet surfing, watch an occasional You Tube and playing Farmville and Bejeweled.

Tom you are the kind of person I want to hear from. When building a new system why would you invest $60 in something you don't need? This seems crazy to me when building a budget system. For the kind of things your relatives want to do why not just get an IGP motherboard? Performance wise it's going to be exactly the same for what they do and it will save you $60. This is why I am a little confused about graphics cards such as the Radeon HD 5450 right now.

I need to do a little more research into why you guys are buying them.

@mranderson - I was thinking a bit along the same lines as I read the review. There almost needs to be a separate category of testing for those using standard HD resolutions, to see what the performance is at those standard 702 and 1080 resolutions... Particularly for cards like this, which seem perfect for an HTPC application.

We test at standard LCD resolutions, though I know they are changing now. Still I don't think this really changes anything, the performance was unacceptable for gaming at 1440x900 and it will be the same at slightly lower resolutions. I did see that some reviews tested at 1024x768 and I noticed that there results were really no different. As we found and many of you have mentioned this is not a gaming graphics card.

Regenweald said:

@ Steve, you make a good point on the price, but I think that is just AMD enjoying "first to market". Once Nvidia releases *anything* DX11, I think we'll see some attractive price cuts in the 5800 series. So even though its price may not be the most sensible right now, when it's price gets to where it should be and due to its smaller manufacturing process, it think power consumption and thermal output would make it the better option.

BMfan BMfan said:

@ Steve, i do agree with your points the only thing is most people i know would rather have a graphics card than on board.

I think the reason is because a few years back on board graphic's really sucked,that's why there is a market for these type of cards.Until people realize that on board graphics is fine now if you don't play games like COD,they will still sell.

It is faster than the card it's replacing since the card it's replacing is the 4350,this was taken from the article-The Radeon HD 5450 is stepping in to replace the Radeon HD 4350 graphics card.

I know price wise it's not,but i wouldn't buy one of these in any case.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Okay thanks for the feedback guys.

BMfan the Radeon HD 5450 is meant to be stepping in for the 4350, but right now its not and that is why I recommend not buying it. Once it drops at least $20 in price then yes it will be replacing the 4350 nicely.

"I know price wise it's not,but i wouldn't buy one of these in any case." - then you got our message

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Steve - I've built my share of computers for casual computing and media roles, usually for friends or family. Particularly when I'm building an HTPC type of system, I look more at power usage, heat generation, form factor (half height usually), and output options. That said, I've come to prefer integrated GPUs on motherboards lately, some of my recent nVidia boards were wonderful, and having HDMI out is great for an HTPC. But if who I'm building for wants to maintain some level of current support, say for DX11, nVidia just hasn't had a mobo option for them. Enter cards like this one. Sure it's a bit more than the previous generation version it's intended to replace, it's because it's new and there's nothing from the other camp competing well with it yet... But, if current generation hardware is requested, I'd throw this into a basic system without a qualm. If they could care less, I'd probably look for a good integrated mobo.

Badfinger said:

Still pumping out these pathetic 64-bit cards?

Who is this for? A cheapo build for OEMs, is all I can figure.

At least get a 128 bit card, argh!

They keep pumping out high end cards and go backwards to low end, shouldn't it go the other way around?

I would never buy any of this junk, if $50 is holding you back, why even spend a dime on your computer?

This is crap upgrade fodder and smells like junk to be tossed in the next $300 PC, about the only place I would put one.

Guest said:

I think the price isn't bad plus it has DTS HD Master and Dolby TrueHD which I look for since I'm not much of a gamer and more into media. Plus its 3D capable, i don't see why all the hate.

Guest said:

Hi, new to forum, Johnnyparts is nick name. Just to comment, i set up some small form factor Dells for the boss with on board video, now they want dual monitors on a couple. Perfect solution I'd say.

Vga only onboard.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Hi Johnnyparts you should sign up for the forums rather than use the guest account.

While the Radeon HD 5450 will do what you want all IGP chipsets these days support dual outputs. You would almost be better off spending the money on a new motherboard. This will cost the same amount as a graphics card yet it will provide you with more up to date features.

Guest said:

Hi ive just ordered a pc and it comes with this graphics card, and being 17i woul like to play games on it such as guild wars counter strike and world of war craft, would this card give me good quality graphics or would i have to purchase another in its place? thanks Matt

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Hi ive just ordered a pc and it comes with this graphics card, and being 17i woul like to play games on it such as guild wars counter strike and world of war craft, would this card give me good quality graphics or would i have to purchase another in its place? thanks Matt

No even in those games you will not be able to enabled good quality settings with the Radeon HD 5450. I recommend a Radeon HD 5670 minimum while the Radeon HD 5750 would be ideal.

Guest said:

Because those cards decode DTS-HD? This card is aimed at people like myself. HTPC user zero games. That's what an Xbox is for in my mind, no need to constantly keep upgrading my hardware for each game that hits the market.

ToastOz said:

If you can't run more than 15 fps with a Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition (Overclocked @ 3.70GHz). Chances are you only want this card to for windows aps only.

Guest said:

Sorry Steve, but that is actually quite untrue. I have a HD4550 which should be right there between the 4350 and 5450. I play Guild Wars at 1920x1080 with 4xAA (Edge-Detect, 12 samples) and 16xAF, plus HQ AAA, and I maintain 45-60 fps at the highest quality settings. It drops down to 30 in heavy fights with lots of spells flying around (like sitting in the middle of a Meteor Shower) but it is still absolutely playable for a MMORPG. WoW and CS are significantly less detailed and should pose no difficulty to these cards, though I can't say for certain as I don't own either if these games.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Honestly how you can utilize AA/AF in any game with a Radeon HD 4550 is beyond me, let alone sustain 45-60fps. I have never played Guild Wars but if it can be played on a Radeon HD 4550 using the higest in-game quality settings with 4xAA and 16xAF then I know why LOL.

If WoW and CS are significantly less detailed as you say I would be absolutely amazed as it makes your previous statement even more unbelievable. This is certainly the first I have heard of a graphics card with a bandwidth of just 12.8GB/s with a 64-bit wide memory bus and a fill rate of 4.8 GT/s (texture) that can play a game with 4xAA/16xAF enabled with maximum in-game quality settings at 1920x1080 no less, simply amazing.

In any case this is all completely missing the point as to why you would buy such a graphics card in the first place for gaming because, A - for a little more money you can get significantly more bang for your buck and B - IGP's are not much slower so you might as well use one instead.

buttus said:

Like others in this thread, I can only see this card being useful in a HTC or similar box. The performance is good for video but modern games would be sluggish at best. I wonder now what size of screen the average PC user has now as maybe good performance on high res isn't where the mainstream is at this moment.

Guest said:

I own rather old PC, P4 630 3Ghz, 1GB od ram, VGA X800 GTO. Use it mostly for windows application, surfing the internet and occasionally some older game (usually on medium settings)

I didn't want to upgrade as this served my needs good enough. Until few weeks back when I got 42' HD plasma screen for my living room and now I would like to connect it to my PC with HDMI so I can watch HD movies on it.

Is this the graphic card that would be best for me to upgrade my pc or would you recommend something else?

Guest said:

Would integrated graphics serve my needs?

I plan on buying a new desktop, probably a slimline HP via HP's website.. I also plan on buying a new widescreen LED LCD monitor, most likely the Samsung XL2370 or the LG W2286L. I don't play games at all, but, I want to get my moneys worth out of my new LED monitor. HP offers the 512 & 1GB versions of the ATI Radeon HD 5450, and, the Nvidia Geforce GT 220. HP charges $100 for the ATI card and $130 for the NVidia card.

Four years ago, when I bought my current desktop from HP, I had a bad, disappointing, experience;---after researching the card I planned on buying from HP at the time of my order (GeForce 7300LE), I placed the order. However, when I received my computer from HP, the first thing I noticed was that the card had no DVI output. To jump to the chase, I found out from NVidia that they made a "special" lower end version of their card---which bore the exact same model number---for HP. I had no reason to foresee this at the time I researched the 7300LE card. Needless to say, I felt badly misled by HP.

Therefore, I now have 2 questions (I guess the first question is pretty much rhetorical): (1) Can I even trust HP to deliver what apparently is an overpriced low end card to begin with, and, (2), and this is my main question, in order to get great sharpness, brightness, vivid colors, etc., from the new monitor, would the integrated graphics that come with new HP desktops be adequate, or, would I significantly benefit from the ATI or NVidia card? Obviously, I understand that I don't have to purchase the cards from HP at the time I order the computer, but, that would avoid hasseling with a discrete card after I buy the box.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

KG

Staff
Steve Steve said:

For what you require I cannot see either card making an ounce of difference. If it is just picture quality you are worried about either the GeForce GT 220 or Radeon HD 5450 will do. That said if the Radeon HD 5450 is cheaper then it's a better option.

However what integrated graphics does the Slimline HP use? Chances are if the integrated graphics solution provides the necessary connectivity then it will be fine.

As for your trust in HP the previous issue you had with them is in no way their fault, it is entirely your own. Nvidia makes a reference card for each GPU which may or may not feature all possible connectivity options. It is then up to their partners to choose which connectivity options they are going to provide.

For example from Asus graphics cards will feature DVI while others will only provide VGA support. If HP were using a VGA only product that is fine, it is up to the consumer to do the necessary research here. Chances are at the time HP was using LCD monitors that only supported VGA and therefore only required this interface.

Anyway in short my advice is to research what connectivity you require and what the integrated graphics of the Slimline HP provides.

sgeva2001 said:

I have mointor dell 2408wfp and I am going to buy a new computer with:

OS win7 and mother board GigaByte P55A-UD3 .

I am not playing games too much in my computer, but may be in the future.

I want support for TV also and also to be able to see TV station and movies on my computer.

My tendency ATI's Radeon HD 5450 because I am very senstive to noise.

(I am willing to pay more and keep the gaming option but I want a silence video card, like the passive cooling HD 5450)

The most important question: video card ATI's Radeon HD 5450 have output of type diplay mode or HDMI.

it does not have both and I have to choose between the 2 types when I buy.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?

is their any diff in video quality on my PC mointor or TV?

does it have a driver for win7 64 bit?

thank you

Bolletje said:

There's no difference in quality between DP and HDMI.

I think you should choose the HDMI version since a TV is far more likely to have a HDMI port instead of a DP. You can also look at a HD5550 or a HD5570, they are a little bit faster, but don't expect those budget cards to play games smooth on a Full HD monitor (like your Dell). Then you must look at atleast a HD5670. You can also buy a HD5670 and put another (passive) cooler on it.

And yes, HD5450 works on Windows 7 64 bit.

Guest said:

No, Reviewing this card isn't a waste of time. I bought one about a week ago strictly out of curiosity; although, mine is sans fan and has a passive cooler. Admittedly, it doesn't get a very high graphics score on Windows rating system, but ratings don't tell you everything unless you're a gamer; and most people aren't gamers.

This little card is a wondrous thing. DVD's and Netflix streams look better on it than on my 9800 gt. And my everyday surfing looks just the same. At a fraction of the price of the higher performers, this is an everyman's card.

Guest said:

I own a very slow laptop with an ATI RADEON XPRESS 200M. a incredibly old card. however it can still handle quake live, admittedly at a low setting but can never the less still handle it. i am getting a dell laptop with the card that got reviewed with core i5 processor and should handle such games as quake live easily. for those who don't know quake live it is a free online FPS of a high quality. this card should handle this easily and other games as well. this card also supports direct x 11 which is very good.

Guest said:

The last poster is absolutely correct. I currently have 3 systems running. The one in my workshop (where i go to escape the wife) has an old GeForce 7300 and plays guild wars well enough. My spare comp in the house runs a Radeon X1950 pro and believe it or not that worked better for guild wars than the two SLi BFG 8800 GTS OC2 cards that replaced it in the rig that replaced it largely because the X1950 was a DX9 specific card whereas the 8800 was crippled in DX9 due to the compromise for running DX10.

Modern graphics cards are so overpowered for the needs of most users and the likes of specialist forum snobbery and the majority of reviews which are biased lead to a misconception that you need at very least a mid range card to play even the least demanding games.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

The last poster is absolutely correct. I currently have 3 systems running. The one in my workshop (where i go to escape the wife) has an old GeForce 7300 and plays guild wars well enough. My spare comp in the house runs a Radeon X1950 pro and believe it or not that worked better for guild wars than the two SLi BFG 8800 GTS OC2 cards that replaced it in the rig that replaced it largely because the X1950 was a DX9 specific card whereas the 8800 was crippled in DX9 due to the compromise for running DX10.

Modern graphics cards are so overpowered for the needs of most users and the likes of specialist forum snobbery and the majority of reviews which are biased lead to a misconception that you need at very least a mid range card to play even the least demanding games.

So are you comparing a Radeon HD 5450 to a Radeon X1950? :S

True gamers that want to enjoy the latest games in all their glory have every right to turn their noses up at a pair of 8800 GTS cards. A singe Radeon HD 5850 is not insanely priced and it allows gamers to truly enjoy spectacular looking games such as Metro 2033 for example.

As for the reviews we only try to guide the reader to a smart buying decision for their gaming needs and we do show performance comparison graphics so they can make their own informed decision. Furthermore we offer guidance in our conclusions and if you think spending $20 - $30 more for a graphics card that is twice as fast for gaming is bad advice then I have no idea what good advice might be???

christop said:

Darn - wish I would have read this a few days earlier - just ordered Dell Inspiron 580 desktop with i5 750 (8MB Cache, 2.66GHz), 4G RAM (DDR3 SDRAM, 1066MHz), ATI 5450 (1G), and 300 W psu for $650. I thought this would be a nice upgrade from my current amateur gaming system - Inspiron 1505e laptop with T2050 (2MB/1.60GHz/533MHz), 2G RAM (DDR2, 533MHz), 128MB ATI X1300 (128Mb).

I play Battlefield 2142 online with my laptop on a 23" monitor and not sure of the settings and fps - but would like to think that I can play at higher settings and better fps with this new system once it arrives. Am I mistaken? I was thinking of waiting till the end of the year and then purchasing a higher end graphics card when the price point decreases - but with all this talk about power usage - maybe I have to upgrade my psu as well?

Great article Steve - just wish I would have read it sooner:)

Guest said:

I have just ordered a Dell Studio XPS 9000 and this ATI Radeon HD 5450 Graphics card, I play The Sims3 game. Will my game work with this card?

BMfan BMfan said:

It depends at what resolution because with sims3 ambitions at 1080P i get about 65\75 fps.I'm sure the 5450 will struggle to play sims3 at 1680x1050 and above.

Guest said:

Your review missed the primary reason why people buy this card.

HTPC owners who want to upgrade their audio.

The 5000 series is the first ATI series to support HDCP 7.1 channel sound over HDMI.

If you want a quiet, slim, and low-power card in your HTPC that will support Blu-ray's highest sound levels, then this is the perfect card for you and it's pretty cheap.

Guest said:

Need some expert advice!

I'm about to purchase a Dell Inspiron 580 (w/Intel Core i5-750 proc. 8MB cache, 2.66 GHz), and it comes with the ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB. Also: 8GB Memory, 1TB hard drive, 21.5" monitor, 16X DVD etc.

I'm not a gamer except for playing The Sims2 w/several expansion packs and looking at The Sims3 -- will these games play well with this card, and what resolution do you suggest? If you feel these games won't play well, what would you suggest?

Thanks for any input you can offer.

Guest said:

I just bought this card as a part of a small form-factor (mini-itx) computer for a friend.

I chose between going for Intel Core i5 650 (which has graphics integrated) and skip a graphics card, or go with Core i5 750 which is a quad-core and significantly (30%) better than 650 at many tests, and get the cheapest possible graphics card for decoding HD content, basically.

The reason why i did not go with option one or an IGP-motherboard is simple: I could not find one which satisfied what I needed. He doesn't play any games at all, only poker and the occasional old Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and 3 (not even 3D). The motherboard i chose was a Gigabyte H55N-USB3, which is a mini-itx form factor motherboard with USB3 support, it was cheap, and had some very nice features. On top of that i got him the HD5450 (because he would like up to 3 monitors).

In my case, the older generation (HD4650) would be insufficient due to the number of monitors needed, and every penny saved in allowed me to get the better CPU, Case, bigger harddrive and better memory which in his case was far superior than having a better GPU.

So I can really see why some people would choose to use this card. Me for one thought it was the best option in the price range, and he will get a computer which will last him many years since he does not play any games. In this case, CPU/Form factor/Power >>>> GPU :)

Guest said:

Or you could have built your friend a six-core "AMD Phenom II X6 1055T" system with an AMD 880G motherboard for the same price of less. That would blow away the Core i5 750 system in programs that can use the cores and you don't need a graphics card then unless 3 screens is really needed. In which case you can add any Radeon card and use it with the onboard GPU.

If you read the TS budget CPU articles they say go with the Phenom II X2 555 processor and enable the other two cores. But if you are going to spend $200 then the six-core Phenom II X6 is hard to go past.

Guest said:

It's weird, because with my 5450 I can play Oblivion with HDR, 1280x920 and most details at high with little or no lag. It looks beautiful, so i'm happy. That, and it takes extremely little power.

Honestly, if anyone wants to play at anything above 1280x900, why would they buy this card? They should have a seperate review tier fir these budget cards that review games in 720/1080 configs, not 1400.

Guest said:

Most of the games they reviewed were the high end ones. This card isn't that bad for gaming really.

Guest said:

No you are wrong it is really bad :P

Guest said:

I'm not a serous gamer but as my dell inspiron desk top 531 had a 128 card. I wanted to upgrade for my own work,pics ect. so I fitted the 'ati hd 5450 512' card. Due to my psu and the power consumption of the said card it was a compromise. It needs no hook up conections and a straight fit to a pci-e .Up to yet (1month) its been faultless and a very good improvement. My usage is about 3 to 4 hrs at a time, but just for my own peace of mind(and i have no heat worries) i am fitting a internal fan..I paid £52 for it and i'm more than pleased with the result. In my opinion its a dam good low end card at a good low end price.

Guest said:

Hey guys. New to the site, found it by browsing google. I'm picking up a computer today with this card in it. Long story short, my grandmother is paying for it, and she's a bit stubborn after we ordered from Newegg and got a busted computer. So long story short I'm ordering a comp with this card and I am curious as to how it will run WoW. I've been playing for 6 years now and it's the only game I play. As long as it can run it on high settings at 40+ FPS I'm fine.

After living in the stoneage for 6 years playing at 10 FPS anything would do I guess.

So just..knowledgeable straight up answer. Hopefully that's not asking too much, there seems to be alot of bickering going on in this thread.

Guest said:

I play WOW and this card sucks. The lady at Best Buy didn't know what she was talking about when she said my HP 210Y with the 5450 was a gaming computer. Now I have to upgrade this video card. I went to best buy because I don't have time to build my own computer and follow up on all the new changes. Guess I will go somewhere else next time.

Guest said:

What i don't understand is that these cards get reviewed with alot of game benchmarks and nearly nothing about the cards video-playback is reviewed. Because that's what these cards are for; smooth playback of 1080P material, blu-ray etc. These are not game cards.

So the weight of the review should be about multimedia video playback and as a side note, some game benchmarks. That would be much better.

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