We’re only a few days removed from the launch of the affordable Radeon HD 6790 and AMD is already at it again, this time with a new entry-level DirectX 11 GPU targeted at users looking to upgrade from integrated graphics solutions, the Radeon HD 6450.
The Radeon HD 6450 shares many of the same features as its higher-end counterparts in the Radeon HD 6000 family, but the GPU used on this new card is pared down significantly to bring costs and power consumption way down. The GPU at the heart of the 6450 is manufactured on TSMC’s 40nm process node and is comprised of roughly 370M transistors. It features 160 steam processors (the 6790 has 800), eight texture units, and four ROPs. There will be a few different versions of the Radeon HD 6450 produced, some with 512MB of GDDR5 memory and others with up to 1GB of GDDR3. The memory is linked to the GPU via a 64-bit interface and pricing for the various models is expected to hover around $55, give or take a few bucks depending on the card’s configuration.
The GPU and memory clock speeds on the different versions of the Radeon H D 6450 will also vary. The card you see pictured here is the half-height, actively-cooled 512MB GDDR version. Its GPU is clocked at 750MHz and the memory is clocked at 900MHz (3.6Gbps data rate). At those clocks, the card is capable of a peak fillrate of 3.0Gpixles/s or 6GTexels/s, with 28.8GB/s of memory bandwidth. There will also be versions of the Radeon HD 6450 with their GPUs clocked as low as 625MHz and memory clocks as low as 533MHz (533MHz-800MHz GDDR3, 800MHz-900MHz GDDR5).
Radeon HD 6450 models with lower clock speeds will also be available in passively cooled editions, which makes then ideal for HTPC applications.
Board partners are likely to offer variations of the Radeon HD 6450 with differing output configurations, but our sample had a trio of outputs—one dual-link DVI, one DisplayPort, and one DB15 VGA out. The 6450 GPU supports up to three-screen Eyefinity configurations, however. We should also note that typical board power is 9w at idle and 27w under load.
The Radeon HD 6450 wasn’t designed with high-end gaming in mind, but we ran a few quick tests to gauge its performance versus Intel’s latest integrated graphics solutions available on Sandy Bridge-based processors and a couple of similarly prices discrete solutions.
As you can see, the Radeon HD 6450 has no problem outpacing the Intel HD Graphics 3000 core available on Core i5 and i7 K-SKUs. But it doesn’t compete very well against the GeForce GT 430 or older Radeon HD 5550.
Ultra high-framerates with cutting edge titles may not be in the cards for Radeon HD 6450 owners, but because the 6450 uses AMD’s tried and true Catalyst drivers and offers full DX11 support, game compatibility and rendering quality should be much better than Intel’s integrated graphics solutions. And the Radeon HD 6450 also handles multimedia and video playback very well. The video engine on the 6450 offers hardware acceleration of Flash video and DivX, Edge Enhancement and De-Noise filters, and a number of other features available as part of the UVD engine in other 6000-series Radeons.
Expect AMD Radeon HD 6450 cards to hit retail outlets immediately from a handful of AMD’s key board partners.
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