Sapphire HD 5450 512MB Reviewjlqrb - February 3, 2010
Category: Video Cards
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Since the release of the ATI 5-series graphics cards, ATI has maintained a strong presence in the mid-range and high-end markets, but without an entry-level offering there has been a rather large gap in their current line-up. To fill this gap and expand the series, ATI is releasing the HD 5450, which will replace current cards on the market such as the ATI HD 4350 and HD 4550 as their 'de facto' mainstream entry. The HD 5450 comes with specifications that seem similar to the older HD 4550 graphics cards, but will come with features that were introduced with the 5-series, such as DX 11 and be manufactured on a 40nm die. With the reduction in die size from the older cores the HD 5450 can get by with only 20 watts of required power at full load, which should decrease the overall operating temperature of the card. Add to this the low profile design, passive cooling and exceptional HD playback thanks to ATI Avivo™ Technology, all make the HD 5450 look like a really nice option for a HTPC. Also, with the use of ATI Stream technology the graphics card can now split part of the load from tasks such as photo and video editing as well as HD playback. Though part of ATI's new graphics card line, the HD 5450 should not be thought of as a gaming graphics card, but rather a capable replacement for on-board video or older entry-level graphics that just can't quite get the job done with today's demanding applications.
The HD 5450 that we are going to be looking at comes to us from Sapphire and is one of ten models that are going to be release with the HD 5450 title. This card is one of the models in the series that includes 512MB DDR3 memory and comes with a Display port with Eyefinity support. The others versions will be available as either 512MB or 1GB models, using DDR2 or DDR3 with a 64-bit memory interface. There will, however, be one model that comes standard with faster GDDR5 memory and this will be the other model that will support ATI's Eyefinity technology. Even though ATI Eyefinity Technology is only supported by two of the models being introduced, it is nice to see this technology and others, such as DX 11, start to hit a more mainstream audience.
The packaging the HD 5450 comes in a box that is black and copper in color and has an image of Sapphire's video vixen Ruby on the front! Below Ruby, Sapphire has listed the capabilities of the HD 5450 such as ATI Eyefinity, on-board Display port and DVI, CrossFireX™ and the size of the die. The front of the box also has the memory size and type listed near the top with the graphics card name below it. The reverse side the box has listed features and specifications that the card offers, as well as a run down of how they are beneficial.
The packaging we looked at previously is just an outer shell that houses the protective cardboard casing inside of it. This protective inner cardboard box is where the graphics card and accessories that come with it are found. The inner packaging has liner inside of it that holds the HD 5450 and the accessory securely in place.
I was surprised to see the included accessories that came with the Sapphire HD 5450 only consisted of the manual, driver CD, SimHD disc and two low profile bracket converters. Sapphire usually includes as much as they can when it comes to accessories, but even without all the extra connectors, there should be enough here to get you going.
With the card out of the packaging, we can start our closer look at HD 5450 and see what it brings to the table.