PowerColor HD3450 Reviewajmatson - March 30, 2008
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The PowerColor HD3450 is a low profile card which makes it great for the cramped confines of an HTPC case if needed. The HD3450 uses a passive cooling system instead of an active one that we will take a better look at soon. PowerColor opted to go with a red PCB, which is common with ATI based cards. The HD3450 runs on a PCI Express 2.0 interface for faster speeds and supports DirectX 10.1, Shader Model 4.1, ATI's Avivo HD Video technology, and has built-in HDMI/5.1 surround audio. The HD3450 features 256MB of DDR2 memory running at 800MHZ effectively on a 64-bit memory interface. The RV620 core runs at 600MHz and has 40 stream processing units.
For display the PowerColor HD3450 has one DVI, one VGA D-Sub, and one S-Video connection to give the user a broad array of options for hooking up the card to different displays. Since the card is a low profile card, the VGA connection is extended with a flat ribbon cable located to the outside of the PCB. The HD3450 does not use an external power connector, it draws all the power it needs from the PCI Express bus. Also, this card is Crossfire capable but does not use the bridge to accomplish this. All Crossfire processing is done via the PCI express interface so that it can be used in conjunction with the Integrated graphics of an AMD 7-series motherboard in a Hybrid Crossfire combination.
As I mentioned before, the PowerColor HD3450 uses a passive heatsink cooling method. The heatsink is made of aluminum for better heat dissipation during use. Even though the HD3450 is a low profile card, the heatsink is quite large and does extend slightly over any slots below it, making the next slot on the board unusable, so in essence, this is a dual slot card. Not very low profile really? The heatsink uses a lot of fins to disperse the heat generated by the HD3450. The underside of the heatsink that comes into contact with the GPU is really rough, not smooth. We will see how well this heatsink cools after using it for the benchmarking.
With the heatsink removed, we get a better look at the RV620 GPU in all of its glory. This is where all of the magic takes place, giving you the crisp, clear content you view on your screen.
Well, we have seen the HD3450 and what it is made of, so now let's go and see what it can do.