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Sapphire Radeon HD6450 Flex Edition Video Card Review

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Testing:

Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair IV Formula
CPU: AMD Phenom II 970 Black edition
PSU: Thermaltake TR2 850 Watt
SDD: Kingston Hyper X 128 GB
Ram: 4 GB Patriot Viper II
Case: Cooler Master Silencio 450

This test rig is clearly overkill for the capabilities of this card, but this will truly determine the upper bound of its capabilities.

CPU-Z:
cpu-z-cpu cpu-z-gpu
Cpu-Z Didn’t recognize the graphics chip, which isn’t completely surprising, as the card is pretty recent to the market.
To get a baseline, I ran 3D mark 06. This benchmark tests the GPU in conjunction with the CPU and HDD, and is a synthetic benchmark:

3dmark-06-score

This is a very respectable score for such a tiny little card.
Furmark:
One major concern for a passive video card is temperature. To determine how this card would perform, I ran Furmark, a GPU Stress test. Let’s take a look.
furmark-benchmark furmark-comparison
While the card isn’t going to break any records it held its own against the other budget cards–and they weren’t silent!
SiSoft isĀ a nice piece of software that always gives a visual comparison between yours and similar hardware:
sisoft-video-rendering sisoftmemory-bandwidth
This card is doing amazingly well for a $70 investment. While you won’t be editing Avatar, the performance jump between this and on-board graphics is worthwhile for any productivity system.
PC Mark Vantage, is especially effective for our currentĀ purposes, as this suite will test the card’s usability for common Windows tasks.
vantage-score-and-settings pcmark-vantage-score vantage-breakdown-1
Pay special attention to the HD playback scores; again this is a sub-$100 Eyefinity card.
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6 Comments... What's your say?

  1. For an HTPC also used for occasional gaming, this card is awesome – completely silent, 50% better scores than the 5450, and simplifies cabling by routing audio over HDMI. The heat and power use is obviously a bit higher, but I’ve had no problems with the card maxed out. Works as a great stop-gap card for gaming, even at full HD resolution, with enough power that I can play some new games at mid or low detail without a problem.

    My biggest reservation is the heatsink clamps. The same extremely thin, worthless springs that didn’t attach the sink at all on the Sapphire 5450, necessitating the upgrade to this card. I’m similarly worried that a knock or a cable getting wedged under will be all it needs to come unglued and overheat the underlying chips. I’m just crossing my fingers that it lasts until the 7000- and 600-series show up.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XLPJNK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=emjay2d-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004XLPJNK

  2. This cards pretty damn good!

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