Value and Conclusion
- Sapphire HD 5450 512 MB can be found online for around $55.
- Passive cooled
- Low-profile, single slot
- Minimal power draw
- Improvements to HDMI audio. 7.1 ch HDMI audio with Dolby, DTS
- Native HDMI
- 40 nm GPU
- Support for DirectX 11
- ArcSoft SimHD included
- Fairly high price
- Extremely limited 3D Performance
- No performance upgrade over last generation
- No GDDR5 memory
- No support for CUDA/PhysX
First of all, let it be clear that this is not a gaming card. While it may be sufficient for older titles at modest resolution, it simply can not handle current games. What this card excels in however is regular desktop use and media playback at extremely low power usage numbers. Thanks to Sapphire's passive cooling solution it does so without any noise, which is key when watching movies on your big TV screen. The card also comes in a low-profile, single slot compact form factor which should fit almost any media PC case on the market.
I noticed a lack of unique selling points on this card compared to previous generation products. AMD did not increase on the last generation 3D performance, and full HD media playback acceleration has been available in discrete graphics cards for the last years. If you are looking to feed your HD movies' audio into your 7.1 audio receiver then this card offers something new. It brings support for HDMI 1.3 which includes 7.1 audio and several Dolby/DTS audio formats, a feature that was not present on previous cards. This also makes the card a great candidate as affordable HDMI sound card, such cards usually cost around $100. If you are looking for a cheap way to add HD capability to your HTPC rig then a HD 3450 or HD 4350 might be a better choice because of the big price difference. On the other hand a $20 premium isn't that much and will help with the resale value of the card.