Sapphire Radeon HD 5450 512MB
The Sapphire Radeon 5450 is a budget graphics card, no question. Priced around the $50 mark, it’s not intended for anyone who has aspirations of anything resembling serious gaming. For people on a very tight budget, however, it has a very attractive price tag, silent operation, low power draw, and low temperatures. That is a good combination no matter how you slice it, making the 5450 an outstanding choice for an HTPC setup.
In terms of gaming, the 5450 is limited to 1280 resolution and low quality settings overall. Some games perform better, depending on the graphics engine, and we’ve seen that 30 frames per second is achievable if you disable antialiasing and ratchet down the eye candy a great deal. For someone with an older OEM machine, this could be a nice swap-and-drop card, requiring no power supply upgrade or anything else other than a driver update. And make no mistake, there is a considerable market out there for people in this situation or similar.
In what could be an excellent setup for the Radeon 5450, however, is in a multi-monitor environment. If you’re looking to operate three screens, for example, without the ability or cash to run an Eyefinity setup, just drop in the 5450, hook up the secondary monitors, and you’re off to the races. In fact, you could even hook up four screens in an office setting for only $100 in graphic cards. And why not? Visual real estate is an addiction; once you’ve tried a multi-monitor setup you’ll never go back to less.
Sapphire has released a card for a select market and it serves its purpose well, running cool, silent, power-frugal, offering some basic gaming capabilities but some great potential for a multi-display setup in a very affordable package.
Sapphire Radeon HD5450 512MB
Our thanks go to Sapphire for providing the Radeon HD5450 for this review.