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MSI Radeon HD 6450 - Good budget card for R600g?

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  • MSI Radeon HD 6450 - Good budget card for R600g?

    I am looking into getting two cheap AMD cards for two of my brothers to use with the R600g driver and the one with the most compelling specs seems to be the MSI R6450:
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...108&CatId=3669

    Still, I have heard some bad things about the 6450, so I wanted to ask if anyone has some experience with the card. Nothing to intensive will be done with them - if it can play games like Trine, Prey, and Amnesia acceptably like my Diamond Radeon HD 4670 (which I am very happy with) can it will do just fine.

  • #2
    IIRC the 6450 has very roughly half the processing power of a 4670 -- 6450 has half the shaders, clocks are a bit higher, but memory bandwith is lower. Tom's "Hierarchy of Graphics Cards" puts the 4670 ~5 steps above the 6450.

    The 6450 pretty much splits the difference between the older *4** parts and the older *6** parts, if that helps.

    EDIT -- Yikes, I see how you ended up picking that card. The next fastest one is more than twice the price...

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...907&CatId=3669

    Anyways, check the performance numbers... the 6450 will probably be slower than your 4670, question is whether it is too much slower. I would look for a 5550/5570 or 6550/6570 if you can find one at a good price.
    Last edited by bridgman; 01-10-2013, 03:55 PM.

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    • #3
      Nope. Save money (don't smoke, drink, eat too much... the list goes on) and buy an used NVIDIA graphics card like a 9800GTX (about 60-80 euros used). It works fine with Nouveau, BTW.

      If you need a better one then you'll need to buy more recent graphics cards.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Calinou View Post
        Nope. Save money (don't smoke, drink, eat too much... the list goes on) and buy an used NVIDIA graphics card like a 9800GTX (about 60-80 euros used). It works fine with Nouveau, BTW.
        Yeah, and he'll need a nuclear power plant to go with it

        HD6450 is an extremely low-powered card that is passively cooled. It is quiet, and it needs virtually no power. The 9800GTX is no replacement in any possible way.

        FWIW, I can play Trine, Amnesia and OpenArena with r600g on a passive HD4550, and IIRC, the 6450 should be comparable to that, or a bit faster. It's an acceptable experience, but if you're serious about games, you might want to go a level higher.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
          Yeah, and he'll need a nuclear power plant to go with it

          HD6450 is an extremely low-powered card that is passively cooled. It is quiet, and it needs virtually no power. The 9800GTX is no replacement in any possible way.

          FWIW, I can play Trine, Amnesia and OpenArena with r600g on a passive HD4550, and IIRC, the 6450 should be comparable to that, or a bit faster. It's an acceptable experience, but if you're serious about games, you might want to go a level higher.
          No. 9800GTX does not need much. Especially if you pick "Green Edition", for which 75W are sufficient.
          Its problem lies elsewhere - its old card of near-legacy generation. The chip is 55nm at best, mostly 60nm, the cards are not produced anymore hence the chance of blowing up is not covered.

          I would go AMD route, but pick ANYTHING that has at least 128bit of GDDR5.
          Last edited by crazycheese; 01-10-2013, 06:26 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bridgman View Post
            Anyways, check the performance numbers... the 6450 will probably be slower than your 4670, question is whether it is too much slower. I would look for a 5550/5570 or 6550/6570 if you can find one at a good price.
            Well, it is not like I am trying to replace my 4670 with one of them, so I can accept it not being quite as good as my current card. The 6450 is certainly better than the 2400 that my brother has, and better than the Nvidia in my other brother's machine. And the price looks about right...

            After all, I got my current card off of Kijiji for $40 CAD because the person who was selling it was a rich kid who did not know the true value of the card (he used it for one month and then bought a completely new gaming rig) so all this proves is that I scored myself a rather awesome deal when I did that. Still, I might look into Kijiji again, considering everything.

            Originally posted by Calinou View Post
            Nope. Save money (don't smoke, drink, eat too much... the list goes on) and buy an used NVIDIA graphics card like a 9800GTX (about 60-80 euros used). It works fine with Nouveau, BTW.
            Well, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I am only 145 pounds, and we are buying one of these to replace a NVIDIA card with Nouveau. Besides, if I am spending money, I am making sure the money goes to AMD (well, somewhat).

            Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
            FWIW, I can play Trine, Amnesia and OpenArena with r600g on a passive HD4550, and IIRC, the 6450 should be comparable to that, or a bit faster. It's an acceptable experience, but if you're serious about games, you might want to go a level higher.
            Good to know - the 2400 my brother has currently struggles with Trine. And while I am serious about games, I am not serious about modern blockbusters, so...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
              Good to know - the 2400 my brother has currently struggles with Trine. And while I am serious about games, I am not serious about modern blockbusters, so...
              On HD4550, Trine is playable, but you won't be able to go full blast, full detail in 1080p. Similarly, I finished Doom3 and Quake4, and it was fine, but in 1080p with all bells and whistles it became too slow. Same thing with Amnesia. OpenArena, Goo, pretty much everything else flies.

              HD6450 will be slightly faster, but not much.

              I actually bought HD4550 years ago because it was the cheapest thing out there while I was waiting for drivers to mature. It turned out perfectly suitable for desktop and light gaming, so I never got around to replacing it, but if I were buying now, I'd probably go for something slightly more powerful just so I can turn all the bells and whistles on in full HD and still have a smooth experience.

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              • #8
                Sounds good. The 6450 should be a bit faster than a 2600 and definitely faster than a 2400.

                Think "chip 4x as fast as 2400, memory a bit faster than 2400" so overall performance somewhere in between.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                  On HD4550, Trine is playable, but you won't be able to go full blast, full detail in 1080p. Similarly, I finished Doom3 and Quake4, and it was fine, but in 1080p with all bells and whistles it became too slow. Same thing with Amnesia. OpenArena, Goo, pretty much everything else flies.
                  1080p? We only have 17" monitors anyway.

                  How is 1280x1024 for you?

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                  • #10
                    I am making sure the money goes to AMD (well, somewhat).
                    herewego.jpg with the "vote with your wallet" illusion.

                    Yeah, and he'll need a nuclear power plant to go with it
                    Passive cooling is overrated, if you want something quieter, buy an SSD instead of an HDD, use good PSUs... Electricity is cheap too. I bet you use suspend instead of shut down? AMD CPUs and GPUs still use more power and make more noise, again. Their lifespan is also shorter (at least for GPUs).
                    Last edited by Calinou; 01-11-2013, 06:43 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Calinou View Post
                      herewego.jpg with the "vote with your wallet" illusion.

                      Passive cooling is overrated, if you want something quieter, buy an SSD instead of an HDD, use good PSUs... Electricity is cheap too. I bet you use suspend instead of shut down? AMD CPUs and GPUs still use more power and make more noise, again. Their lifespan is also shorter (at least for GPUs).
                      You have no idea.
                      1st "vote with your wallet" is not an illusion. The GPU and driver type will display in every statistic - for example on upcoming Steam stat.
                      Passive cooling is best thing you can do, because it reduces noise, vibrations, EMI and amount of dust pumped through the tower. Still, if one would go for passive cooling, its better to either watercool to huge passive radiator or use an all-Cu case and connect every component to it by means of heatpipes. For machines with lower energy drain, passive is definately better than fan cooling, if its working.

                      Also, AMD GPUs are much more energy efficient and with larger field of usage than that of Nvidia. Nvidias are strict gaming cards.
                      Electricity is cheap my ass, perhaps if you live in Bagamas. In EU the average cost is now 25 eurocent/kWh, three years before it was ~17 eurocent.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
                        How is 1280x1024 for you?
                        Very fast. An HD6450 should run Amnesia, Doom3, Quake4 and the like smoothly at that resolution. Not 60fps all the time, but definitely playable. I finished Prey in 1080p but that was a bit too much, and I had some slideshow fights along the way

                        It will help to get the latest and greatest git stuff for Mesa, kernel and drm and do some tweaking, but you know that already.
                        Last edited by pingufunkybeat; 01-11-2013, 08:14 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Calinou View Post
                          Passive cooling is overrated, if you want something quieter, buy an SSD instead of an HDD, use good PSUs...
                          I think that it's best to buy what you need (or expect to need) rather than throwing money at stuff that is then constantly actively cooled at idle 24/7.

                          Electricity is cheap too. I bet you use suspend instead of shut down? AMD CPUs and GPUs still use more power and make more noise, again. Their lifespan is also shorter (at least for GPUs).
                          Electricity is not cheap everywhere, and there's no need to burn coal for no reason. It also depends on your system. I have a multi-seat setup, for example, and this is where you want a good case fan and passive, low-power cards rather than several noisy fans spinning all the time.

                          I always shut down, and I use a kill switch for all electronics, BTW.

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                          • #14
                            It is amazing how everything can turn into a flamewar on Phoronix is'int it? What is making this all the more amusing is the video card I am looking at is not even passively cooled in the first place.

                            Still, thanks for the advice everyone.

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                            • #15
                              Just be glad you didn't mention BSD

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