Crysis: Warhead

Kicking things off as always is Crysis: Warhead, still one of the toughest games in our benchmark suite. Even three years since the release of the original Crysis, “but can it run Crysis?” is still an important question, and for three years the answer was “no.” Dual-GPU halo cards can now play it at Enthusiast settings at high resolutions, but for low-end cards even Mainstream/Medium quality is nearly out of reach.

We’re throwing in a 1680 chart now and then just to showcase where the Radeon HD 6450 and GT 430 stack up compared to our usual bulk of cards. It takes a lot of cutting to make a $50 card, and the end result is a fraction the performance of a $100 card.

Moving on to more playable settings, we first look at 1280x1024 at the lowest quality setting: Performance. The drop in quality between Performance and Mainstream is quite severe, so once we get to 1024 at Mainstream you’ll understand why we’re using Performance here. In any case the Radeon HD 6450 is actually very playable at this resolution in exchange for the limited graphical quality. Crysis can be quite easy to run, you just have to give up the fancy graphics to get there. Compared to the 5450 the performance jump is quite remarkable; even though the 6450 only has an equal number of ROPs, the jump nearly matches the twofold increase in SPs. So for Crysis we’re definitely shader and/or bandwidth limited.

At 1024x768 mainstream quality, the performance drops across the board in spite of the lower resolution. The 6450 is the first card to crack 30fps, and at 32.9fps it’s only barely playable. The performance gains versus the 5450 are still over 50%, but it’s not quite the large gap we saw at 1280. As for the 5570, here it’s ahead of the 6450 by 20fps. And this is the main problem the 6450 is going to face in the performance race: cheap 5570 cards with more than twice the horsepower are going to easily overpower it. The 6450’s advantage is in power consumption and all that follows.

The Test Metro 2033
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  • ET - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    If you're worried about crossing the 25W line you can always slightly underclock it. That said, unless you intend to use it for gaming, folding or another such heavy task, it shouldn't come close to 25W, and from your description above it sounds like you're not planning such things. Reply
  • DjPete2008 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    According to this - http://www.rage3d.com/reviews/video/amd_hd6450_lau... - the idle power draw is actually less than the 5450.

    So it would probably be compatible with my system, and as ET said, I could also underclock it. Now to wait and see what retail products get released.
    Reply
  • Wave_Fusion - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Since the Turks architecture is what my 6770M is based on, I'm looking forward to see how the desktop versions do. It might not be as impressive in the desktop world, but as mobility cards go its not far from the top. Reply
  • evolucion8 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    It is a good review, but I think that it might be more productive doing video quality analysis instead of gaming performance as no one will buy such low end card for gaming anyways. Or at least two or three gaming performance charts and the rest with video quality and performance analysis, good product overall, but in terms of gaming performance, I think that the GT 430 is a better option. Reply
  • Mishera - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I second that.

    I've been thinking about building a htpc using Amd's e-350, and was wondering if something like this would be useful from a feature/video quality perspective, or if the apu would be adequate on it's own.
    Reply
  • ET - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I always find gaming potential interesting, but I think that 1680x1050 maximum quality with 4x AA isn't. I don't really need putting this in the perspective of all the other cards just to show it's not good for that. I want to know what it does work for. 720p would be a good testing point for an HTPC. 1280x1024 and 1024x768 aren't really in use these days.

    It might be a good idea for Anandtech to develop a low end gaming benchmark, with game and setting selections which are more useful to indicate the suitability of such low end hardware for some gaming. I know Jarred is working on a low end gaming article, but I'd love this to be put into standard reviews of such hardware.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    The majority of non-gamers (those that would probably buy this card not for HTPC), are on 17-19" monitors (ie those that come with the Dell/HP) computer and so I would argue that the 1280X1024 is likely the MOST important resolution to test.

    Still I agree with the above poster that the game tests are more of a formality and the focus should be on the video quality and performance analysis (specifically power draw doing common HTPC tasks not a load benchmark with crysis).
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Unless that Dell/HP is pre-2005, it is probably not not 1280x1024. The various widescreen resolutions with between 768 and 900 pixels of vertical resolution have been more common for quite a while at those screen sizes. Reply
  • ET - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Low end Llano chips will have 160 cores, but slower and with slower memory. That'd put it around HD 3000 or even under (and sometimes higher), but still over HD 2000. Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Tough call. Llano will have access to a dual channel memory bus of up to DDR3-1866 which theoretically should provide more bandwidth than the 6450, although it will have to share this with the rest of the system. Even so, this should still be plenty enough to beat HD 3000 regardless of what Llano model is in use, assuming the fastest memory is used.

    I believe Llano's true strength will be 720p with AA; even with 400 shader cores it's not going to be a monster and certainly won't be suited for 1080 gaming. Hell, I wouldn't even put my 4830 through that. One thing we really don't know right now is how many texture units and ROPs Llano actually possesses.
    Reply

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