With the new Radeon HD 5450, AMD's quest to field an entire lineup of DirectX 11 compliant graphics cards covering all market segments, within six months reaches fruition. The HD 5450 is an entry-level GPU based on the company's "Cedar" core. There are two important things AMD wants to try with this GPU, which it hasn't tried yet: 1. to have a current standards-compliant entry-level GPU, 2. to try and have a go at integrated graphics solutions in terms of power draw and performance, while maintaining higher performance per Watt. Sounds like a daunting task for discrete graphics, but not all that impossible in theory, being AMD's smallest 40 nanometer GPU to date, and many energy efficiency wins in the Evergreen series to speak of.
The Cedar GPU packs 80 stream processors, 4 ROPs, and a 64-bit wide memory interface, which seats GDDR3 or DDR2 memory. Apart from featuring in low-profile graphics cards, the GPU also makes do with fan-less passive cooling which makes it silent. There are just enough resources to drive full-HD video playback, or playing games of the yesteryear. The on-die audio passed over HDMI is high-definition, with 7.1 output channels and Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, AC-3, DTS support, which is an amazing value proposition (substitutes a $100 HDMI sound card which offers the same).
Sapphire's implementation of the Radeon HD 5450 sticks to the plan. It's a low-profile card with passive cooling. It packs 512 MB of memory, and bundles a low-profile bracket kit. Its connectivity ensures all important connectors are taken care of. Let's take it for a spin.