ATI Radeon HD 5450 in Detail

The Radeon HD 5450 is the first graphics card in the HD 5000 series that can be cooled passively, making it a solid choice for HTPC systems. The card is said to consume just 19 watts of power under load, which is a fraction of the 61 watts needed to power the Radeon HD 5670 or the 108 watts on the Radeon HD 5770.

A big plus about the Radeon HD 5450 consuming so little power is that it doesn't require an external power source. The PCI Express bus alone is capable of delivering enough current to this card.

The Radeon HD 5450 also generates very little heat and as we mentioned before, it can be passively cooled. However, the sample we received from AMD used a tiny 40mm fan that cools an equally small 45mm x 45mm heatsink. The passively cooled reference design card features a much larger dual-slot heatsink that measures 85mm long, 55mm wide and 30mm tall.

Compared to the Radeon HD 5670, which measures 17cm, the Radeon HD 5450 is actually the same length. This is also the same as the GeForce GT 240 and should fit in any case that can support a mATX motherboard. The Radeon HD 5450 uses a low-profile design measuring just 5.5cm tall, whereas a typical graphics card is 9.5cm tall.

The core configuration of the Radeon HD 5450 includes 80 SPUs, 8 TAUs (Texture Address Units) and 4 ROPs (Rasterization Operator Units). That's considerably less than other cards in the series, and just the same as the previous generation Radeon HD 4350 and 4550.

Core clock speed is set at 650 MHz, which should be good for 104 gigaflops of raw computing power, while GDDR3 memory operates at 800MHz. The Radeon HD 5450 can come configured with either 512MB or 1GB of memory – the sample we are reviewing today features 1GB. As with all low-end graphics cards we highly recommend you purchase the lowest memory capacity model possible. This is because they are cheaper and do not sacrifice much if any performance.

There are no bridge connectors on the Radeon HD 5450, but it's still possible to link two of these graphics cards through internal CrossFireX.

The Radeon HD 5450 keeps Eyefinity support on select models, so if this is the feature you are looking for on a budget card, make sure your selected brand and model can support it. Like its higher-end variants in the 5000 series, you can hook up to three high resolution monitors (up to 2560x1600) to this board.