Looking for an affordable, everyday use graphics card? To briefly introduce this processor we are reviewing today, the AMD Radeon HD 6450 is a very low-end model that is meant for people that can’t necessarily afford (or has no need for) a higher-end card something like a GTX 970 or a 1060. Perfect for everyday computing, the 6450 uses 160 stream processors and 1GB of 64-bit DDR3 memory.
Though I am not a light gamer, I did need to build a cheaper computer that allowed one of my clients to:
- Watch HD movies.
- Play light video games
- Display on multiple monitors
While I say light gaming, you’ll still get respectable frames rates for plenty of games (more on that soon).
— Note: Looking for more AMD? Pair this video card with something like the AMD FX-8320 to complete your AMD desktop; note that some of the faster AMD processors may be held back by something as cheap as the HD 6450. Consider saving money in that regard —
Easy-to-install and Setup
Easy-to-install, your motherboard will need to have a PCI-Express 2.1 slot open to run this graphics card. Virtually every modern motherboard will have a compatible slot, so simply push it into place and secure it.
When setting up your monitor(s), you’ll be able to choose between:
If you want a three-monitor setup, some models require a DisplayPort and others require an HDMI port for the third monitor.
The PC I was building is a little older, and this card was a minor upgrade to the on-board graphics card I was initially going to hook up. For older PC users, this card will run on as low as a 240W power supply. but I will note that the manufacturer recommends a 400W power supply.
Drivers are easily installed and are included with your purchase, but I recommend downloading them directly from AMD, or your respective manufacturer. VisionTek, MSI, XFX and Sapphire all make their own versions of the 6450.
Performance and Gameplay
For me, it’s all about performance when it comes to graphics cards. With a low-end model, you won’t be maxing out heavy games like The Witcher or Crysis, but that’s not what this card is meant for anyway.
There are several versions of this card on the market, so performance will differ:
- XFX has a 2GB version
- MSI and Sapphire have a 1GB version
Quiet and cool, this card will not produce much noise and doesn’t run hot. While gaming, the card can get up to 55 degrees centigrade, but that’s the same with every card. Of course, when building or at least upgrading your own computer (which I assume you are doing if you are looking at reviews for a processor), you should always have a solid cooling system installed too. Water cooling, though expensive, will be more than enough, but a good cooling fan should be the minimum to keep everything running cool.
If you’re a Linux fan, this card is compatible with newer Linux-based operating systems.
Earlier I mentioned that this is not necessarily a gaming card, but it can play a lot of games on medium settings using HDMI. I did test this card out on a few games that I own, and had the following results (on average):
- Minecraft: 60FPS
- SWTOR: 35FPS
- Skyrim: 22-30FPS (no mods)
- Left 4 Dead 2: 35FPS
All of these games were played on low or medium settings, with the exception of Minecraft, which was easily run on max (no mods). I tried to play something heftier like Crysis 3, but the frames per second count was too low to play with any decent response time.
Using the 1GB version, this card is powerful enough for any movie streaming or basic computing. I wouldn’t recommend this card for hardcore gamers, but at such a low price, you can’t expect much more than what the HD 6450 offers.
Feature and Specs Overview
- 625 MHz engine clock
- 512MB – 2GB DDR3/GDDR5 memory
- 160 stream processing units
- PCI Express 2.1
- 2560 x 1600 max resolution
- HDMI 1.4a
- Displayport 1.2
- DirectX 11; OpenGL 4.1
- Eyefinity multi-display technology
- HDMI / D-SUB / DVI ports
- Offers 1GB and 2GB options
- 3-monitor support
- Easy setup; compatible with Linux
- Low power requirement
- High max resolution
- Low price
- Gets hot on graphic-intensive games
- Fairly big (takes up 2 slots on smaller motherboards)
You’ll want to make sure that you have a slot next to your PCI-Express slot open when installing this graphics card. Like most cards on the market, this card will take up a lot of room on your motherboard and may need the adjacent slot to fit properly.
A decent graphics card capable of running a three monitor setup, the AMD Radeon HD 6450 is the perfect choice for the budget-friendly shopper. Just be sure not to get your expectations too high up, as this is a fairly outdated processor. Purchase only for basic (web browsing, etc) to light (older games like Left 4 Dead or World of Warcraft) use.