AMD Radeon HD 6450 review
The HD 6450 comes in right at the bottom of AMD's new graphics card range. It's a tiny card which is only just longer than the PCI Express x16 slot it fits in, and doesn't even require any auxiliary power - drawing everything it needs from the slot itself.
It's also half-height and fairly quiet, so will be a good card for a slim media centre PC. In fact, AMD is pitching the combination of an HD 6450 and an AMD processor as an alternative to relying on the graphics chipset in an Intel Sandy Bridge processor - the company claims an AMD CPU and a Radeon HD 6450 graphics card is a cheaper and more powerful combination.
AMD has a point - our Best Buy AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition processor and a Radeon HD 6450 will cost you about the same as our Best Buy Intel Core i5-2500K processor on its own. The resulting PC may not be as quick in 2D applications, but will destroy the Intel chip in games.
The HD 6450's specification is not spectacular, with 160 stream processors (fewer than a quarter of the excellent HD 6790) a 750MHz core speed and 512MB of DDR5 memory running at 900MHz. At our benchmarks' standard settings, neither game was playable; Crysis chugged along at 9.7fps and Call of Duty 4 was fairly jerky at 20.5fps. This is far quicker than Intel's Core i5-2500K, though, which could only run Call of Duty 4 at 6fps. It's also faster than the Radeon HD 5450 which the HD 6450 replaces - last year's card could only do 12.5fps in Call of Duty 4 and 5.4fps in Crysis.
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