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Compute Performance

With the 11.3 Catalyst drivers AMD started including their OpenCL runtime with the drivers, a long-awaited development that we’re hoping spurs additional OpenCL development. With that change AMD’s marketing posture has once again shifted towards advertising their GPGPU capabilities, though the 6450 isn’t a great platform for this. With 160 SPs its twice as capable as the 5450, but this is still around 1/10 the theoretical capabilities of their high-end cards, and there the difference between the GPU and the CPU often isn’t the same 10x difference.

In short the 6450 isn’t very fast for GPGPU computing tasks, and indeed Cyberlink’s MediaEspresso won’t even allow hardware encode acceleration on the 6450. This is probably the only notable weakness for the 6450 as an HTPC platform—the decoding is great, but it has no hope of catching up to Intel’s Quick Sync for encoding.

Our first compute benchmark comes from Civilization V, which uses DirectCompute to decompress textures on the fly. Civ V includes a sub-benchmark that exclusively tests the speed of their texture decompression algorithm by repeatedly decompressing the textures required for one of the game’s leader scenes. Note that this is a DX11 benchmark.

With only 160 SPs the 6450 achieves very limited performance here.

Our second compute benchmark of the day is SmallLuxGPU, the GPU ray tracing branch of the open source LuxRender renderer. While it’s still in beta, SmallLuxGPU recently hit a milestone by implementing a complete ray tracing engine in OpenCL, allowing them to fully offload the process to the GPU. It’s this ray tracing engine we’re testing. Note that as Intel doesn’t currently offer an OpenCL driver for their HD Graphics iGPUs, we’re only looking at dGPUs here.

We’ve cut off all the scores above 10K rays/second just to make the 6450 fit, which should give you an idea of the relative performance. The 5770 at $50 more easily gets 4x the performance.

StarCraft II Power, Temperature, and Noise
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  • veri745 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    "... and this is what happens when the 5570 and GT 430."

    Typo or unfinished sentence?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    "Even a slight discount on a more expensive product blows the entire lineup out of the water, and this is what happens with the 5570 and GT 430."

    In other words, the 5570 and GT 430 with only a minor discount on pricing blows away the 6450, at least from a pure performance perspective. Power and potentially HTPC use still could go to the 6450.
    Reply
  • 789427 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    So you buy an APU - you get stunning graphics.
    You bought an Intel CPU - the extra $50 is what you pay to get a great CPU and HD graphics.
    Honestly, this is for joe soap and his HD monitor and will probably be branded as such!
    cb
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    It might also be nice for a productivity Eyefinity setup. I can't wait for AT to get a multi-monitor setup in their lab. Reply
  • khimera2000 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    I cant wait till anandtech gets a multimonitor setup. then i can stop skimming the video card reviews :D

    In this modern age EVERY video card being released has the ability to drive at least two displays, and with Eyefinity, and Nvidia's offering I consider reviews incomplete unless they use ALL the technology there ment to drive. as of this moment this has not happened here. without the support of this I can only assume... and I hate assuming when im reading a review.

    As it stands, without the ability to test Eyefinity and similar set ups I dont think this place will ever be a final deal maker. and that's upsetting because if they cant get three monitors in for a normal test bed, we will probably never see reviews on how well other displays work in eyefinity.

    considering that the 5xxx came out in 2009, two years have passed since that fan fair (give or take), there really is no excuse not to have it right now.
    Reply
  • Springfield45 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    I enjoy the tests on low end and low power graphics cards. One query though. Is the Radeon HD 5670 such an rare beast that no one has performance information? The HD 4670 was a wonderful upgrade for people that had OEM systems without the power supply to drive faster cards and it was recognized as that and reviewed quite well. Why was it's successor so ignored? Will there even be a successor in the 6xxx series? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    We keep a rolling database of performance results for GPU articles. The last time we did a low-end GPU article was with the GT 430 6 months ago, so we effectively didn't have any recent results for anything below a GTS 450. So for everything here below that, we had to rush to get results over a 2 day period. The 5670 was excluded because it's not particularly close in performance or pricing to the 6450. Everything we needed to say about how AMD had faster cards was covered by the 5570, which uses the same Redwood GPU anyhow.

    Anyhow, the 5670 does have a successor in Turks. Turks hasn't made retail yet so I can't say a whole lot about it, but its configured very similarly to Redwood. If and when it gets a retail release, you can expect to see a comparison to the 5670.
    Reply
  • Springfield45 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Cheers!

    I did not mean to sound as if it was a problem that card was omitted from this test. I just found it odd that it was never reviewed at all on Anandtech (and very few other places as well) since the 4670 had made such a big splash.

    Your articles are always on the top of my list a resources and I thank you for them!
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    The 5670 WAS reviewed on Anandtech:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2917

    and since this review compares the 6450 closely to the 5570, a look at the 5570 review will give you an idea of where the 5670 bar would be in this article's graphs:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2935

    The 5670 is the fastest card AMD or Nvidia ever released that didn't require a PCIE connector, although since Ryan not-so-subtly referred to a 6000-series replacement to 5670, that won't be the case much longer!
    Reply
  • DLimmer - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Not quite true.

    There's a 5750 that is "green" and doesn't require a PCIE connector.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply

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