The Test

Due to our improperly clocked reference Radeon HD 5450, all of our performance benchmarks for the 5450 have been taken with our Sapphire 5450 card. As the board is identical to the reference card other than for using the appropriate clock speeds, the results in turn should be identical to a properly clocked reference sample.

We’d also like to thank MSI for sending along one of their GeForce 210 cards, the N210 MD512H. It arrived too late to review it before this article, but we are using it for our GeForce 210 numbers since NVIDIA does not provide reference cards for that series. You’ll see a review of that card in the next day or so.

For the Radeon HD 5450 launch, AMD once again provided new drivers that enable support for it. They’re version 8.69RC3, the same series as the drivers for the 5670 launch.

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.33GHz
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Chipset Drivers: Intel (Intel)
Hard Disk: Intel X25-M SSD (80GB)
Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 3 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Cards: AMD Radeon HD 5970
AMD Radeon HD 5870
AMD Radeon HD 5850
AMD Radeon HD 5770
AMD Radeon HD 5750
AMD Radeon HD 5670 512MB
AMD Radeon HD 5450 512MB
AMD Radeon HD 4890
AMD Radeon HD 4870 1GB
AMD Radeon HD 4850
AMD Radeon HD 3870
AMD Radeon HD 4770
AMD Radeon HD 4670 512MB
AMD Radeon HD 4550 512MB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
NVIDIA GeForce GT 240
NVIDIA GeForce GT 220
NVIDIA GeForce 210
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.62
NVIDIA ForceWare 195.62
AMD Catalyst Beta 8.66
AMD Catalyst Beta 8.66.6
AMD Catalyst 9.9
AMD Catalyst Beta 8.69
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

The Almost Perfect HTPC Card Crysis: Warhead


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  • Taft12 - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    Replying to my own post to say I reread the 5670 article and indeed the 5500 series is mentioned there and I am VERY sure this is what Ryan was referring to earlier when he said "wait a week" Reply
  • juampavalverde - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    I dont see the improvement over the past generation 4550. DX11 is useless in such slow cards (is almost useless for a 5670!). I expect this level of performance from a next gen IGP, not a discrete chip. AMD should have raised high the performance bar for this generation, releasing something like 5450 (120 sp), 5670 (640 sp, like 4770), 5770 (960 sp), and 80 sp for the IGP. Reply
  • Taft12 - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    The improvement is purely in power consumption. They can't improve performance of these lowest-end discrete cards or IGPs too much or they will eat into the value of the next step up (4670, 5670). You may "expect this level of performance" but you aren't gonna get it. Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    I'd be rather interested in seeing a differentail analysis of power consumption of the two ATI cards (5450/5670) at rendering a h264 encoded 1080p movie with dts out via the card, as well as blu-ray with "HD".
    And a video benchmark, to show how much bitrate/fps the respective cards manage, before desync/framedrop/freeze.
    Power during furmark (or gaming) is of course higher on the 5670, because it has five times as many shaders to feed - depending on how smart ATI's power management is, the two cards might not differ a lot, if used in an HTPC.
    And frankly, the 50 dollars extra would be probably worth the extra rendering/decoding horsepower, especially in an HTPC, where you want buttery smooth performance, and not worry about bitrate.
    Oh - any news on passive 5670's? If they can do 5750's, I'm sure there'll be a few 5670's someday?
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    This isn't something we tested since it really isn't an issue. The Cheese Slices test peaks at 35MBps MPEG-2, and I have an H.264 version that peaks at a similar bitrate.

    The 5450 has enough power for anything up to 1080p Blu-Ray.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    Well, considering the extra shader load added by filters, apparently it may not be - or the proper algorithm for deinterlacing would have been available.

    And that also leaves the question of the power draw of a 5670 at 5450 levels of performance - I'm pretty sure that in an HTPC, unless you use it as a console replacement for gaming, there will ever be a situation where the gpu is fully loaded, hence power input should be lower than the full-tilt number you published.
  • dagamer34 - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    Most HTPCs are meant to be small, and there's no way you're going to be able to fit a 5700 series card into a low-profile space. I know they had 4650s last generation, but there aren't any 5650s yet. =/ Reply
  • Redstorm - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    I just cant see how reviewers are claiming this card is the perfect HTPC video card. Not everyone uses Microsofts Media Centre. Lack of VDPAU support for Linux is a glaring hole in all ATI cards, If I were building a gameing PC today I would probably buy an ATI 5870, But if your building a low power HTPC you cant go past nVidia and VDPAU support. Take their ION platform will do 1080p in hardware on Linux for less than 30Watts this beats this ATI offering hands down when you add in Motherboard and CPU.

    Best HTPC card I think not...
  • CiNcH - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    XvBA is also said to be working, which also acts as a backend to VA-API, just like VDPAU. They are even examinig the legal situation and whether the UVD specs can be opened to be support within the OSS (xf86-video-ati) driver. Of course nothing that will be done by tomorrow.

    What I think would be worth mentioning, when it comes to HTPC comparing nVIDIA and ATi, is that UVD won't play H.264 higher than level 4.1. nVIDIA's PureVideo is capable of decoding up to level 5.1.
  • milli - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - link

    The Evergreen series does apply angle independent anisotropic filtering. Also the fixed function interpolators have been removed and moved to the shaders.
    Considering the limited power of the HD 5450, this causes a bigger performance drop compared to the other Evergreen products.

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