Sapphire HD 5450 512 MB GDDR3 Review 7

Sapphire HD 5450 512 MB GDDR3 Review



Sapphire Logo

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.

9400 GT
HD 5450
HD 5450
HD 4550
9500 GT
GT 220
HD 5570
HD 4670
Shader units 168080803248400320
Memory Size512M512 MB512 MB512 MB256 MB /
512 MB
512 MB /
1024 MB
1024 MB512 MB
Memory Bus Width 128 bit64 bit64 bit64 bit128 bit128 bit128 bit128 bit
Core Clock550 MHz650 MHz650 MHz600 MHz550 MHz625 MHz650 MHz750 MHz
Memory Clock400 MHz800 MHz800 MHz400 MHz900 MHz790 MHz /
1012 MHz
900 MHz1000 MHz


Package Front
Package Back

Sapphire uses a big packaging for their relatively small card. I like how the front has a sticker that says "LP Bracket included" that immediately tells me "Media PC". The back has additional detail but not too in-depth.


You will receive:
  • Graphics card
  • Driver CD + Quick Install Guide
  • Low-profile brackets
  • ArcSoft SimHD

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

Sapphire's HD 5570 is really compact. If you remove the analog VGA output you can turn it into a single slot, low profile media PC card.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Front Angled

The card uses slightly more than one slot. One part of the heatsink goes around the card to the back. I am not sure why Sapphire added this piece - it can't add that much to cooling performance. Nevertheless, the card should still fit most small-form factor low-profile cases, but be sure to check before purchase.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

The card has one DVI port, one HDMI port and one analog VGA output. For a lower-end card this is a perfectly valid output combination. Using an HDMI to DVI adapter (not included) you could use two digital screens.

For HDMI Audio, most NVIDIA cards require you to feed an external audio source, for example from your motherboard's on-board audio, to the card via SPDIF cable. AMD on the other hand has integrated a sound device inside their GPUs which is the easier solution for most users. Also AMD's integrated sound device has been upgraded to support HDMI 1.3a which includes Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, AC-3, DTS and up to 7.1 channel audio with 192 kHz / 24-bit.

No CrossFire connectors are present on all these low-end cards, any data that needs to be transferred is sent via the PCI-E bus.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Here are the front and the back of the card, high-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods etc, please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.
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Jul 3rd, 2022 16:30 EDT change timezone

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