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.
To give you some background information on this budget-minded price point, with the Radeon HD 4350 you basically get what you pay for, meaning this product carries a number of weaknesses. First is that the GPU is limited to a 64-bit wide memory bus, combined with low frequency DDR2 memory and you get a theoretical memory bandwidth of just 8GB/s. To give you can idea of how little bandwidth that is, back in 2001 the Radeon 7500 had 7.4GB/s of bandwidth at its disposal, while the Radeon 9700 Pro which followed in 2002 using the AGP bus achieved a memory bandwidth of 19.8GB/s using original DDR memory. Therefore it's hard to get excited when we tell you that the new Radeon HD 5450 has a memory bandwidth of just 12.8GB/s.
Opposing the 16 month old Radeon HD 4350 is the GeForce 9400 GT and GeForce 210 graphics cards, the latter almost being a rebadged 9400 GT but manufactured using a 40nm design process.
What is important to note is that the GeForce 210 utilizes a 64-bit memory bus across all models and supports either DDR2 or DDR3 memory. The faster DDR3 cards have the exact memory bandwidth as the new Radeon HD 5450, which should make for an interesting head to head comparison. But before we start comparing performance let's take a closer look at ATI's latest budget GPU offering.