Since the release of the first Radeon HD 5000 series graphics card four months ago, AMD has continued its attack on Nvidia with an army of new models. After the Radeon HD 5870 came the 5850, 5770, 5750, 5970 and most recently the 5670, while today another new product is coming onto the market for the first time.
The new Radeon HD 5450, codenamed Cedar Pro, will be the cheapest graphics card in the HD 5000 series. This is also the first of the newest graphics products from AMD to get rid of GDDR5 memory and replace it with the older GDDR3. Of course, the Radeon HD 5450 isn't entirely designed for 3D gaming, and certain versions support advanced features like Eyefinity.
The Radeon HD 5450 replaces the Radeon HD 4350 graphics card, which currently retails for just $ 35-40 (512MB) and $ 45-50 (1GB). AMD expects the new HD 5450 to price between $ 50 and $ 60, but we believe those prices should be a little closer to the levels of the older HD 4350 when old inventory runs out.
To give you some background on this budget-conscious price, you basically get what you pay for with the Radeon HD 4350, which means that this product has a number of weaknesses. First, the GPU is limited to a 64-bit wide memory bus combined with low frequency DDR2 memory, and you get a theoretical memory bandwidth of only 8 GB / s. To give you an idea of how little bandwidth that is, the Radeon 7500 had a bandwidth of 7.4 GB / s as early as 2001, while the Radeon 9700 Pro, which followed with the AGP bus in 2002, had a memory bandwidth of 19 , 8 GB / s achieved using original DDR memory. So it's hard to be happy when we tell you that the new Radeon HD 5450 has a memory bandwidth of only 12.8 GB / s.
Opposite the 16-month-old Radeon HD 4350 are the GeForce 9400 GT and GeForce 210 graphics cards, the latter being almost a revised 9400 GT, but made in a 40 nm design process.
It is important to note that the GeForce 210 uses a 64-bit memory bus for all models and supports either DDR2 or DDR3 memory. The faster DDR3 cards have exactly the same memory bandwidth as the new Radeon HD 5450, which should make for an interesting head-to-head comparison. Before we start comparing performance, though, let's take a closer look at ATI's latest budget GPU offering.