To no real surprise, the Radeon HD 6450 works under Linux. It not only works under Linux with the proprietary Catalyst driver, but with the open-source Radeon DRM/KMS driver and Gallium3D. In this article, only the Catalyst driver is being benchmarked, but coming up in the large 40-way graphics card comparison, the open-source driver will be benchmarked on the HD 6450 too.
The Radeon HD 6450 support on Catalyst is just like that of the other AMD Radeon HD 6000 series graphics processors. Likewise, the level of open-source support for the Radeon HD 6450 is comparable to other Northern Islands GPUs.
Benchmarking was done from a system with am AND A8-3850 "Llano" APU with Radeon HD 6550D integrated graphics support, Sapphire Pure Platinum A75 motherboard, 8GB of RAM, and a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD. This system was running Ubuntu 11.04 with the Linux 2.6.38 (x86_64) kernel, Unity 3.8.10 desktop, X.Org Server 1.10.1, GCC 4.5.2, and an EXT4 file-system. Catalyst 11.8 was used on the AMD Radeon HD side while NVIDIA 280.13 was the proprietary driver used when testing the GeForce graphics cards for comparison.
Compared for reference was the Radeon HD 5450, Radeon HD 6550D (the Llano integrated graphics), Radeon HD 6570, GeForce 9500GT, GeForce GT 220, GeForce GT 240, and GeForce GT 520 graphics cards. Besides looking at the OpenGL performance, the thermal and power consumption was also compared between these graphics cards. All of this testing is facilitated using the Phoronix Test Suite. This Radeon HD 6450 review also happens to one of the first articles using the new OpenBenchmarking.org embedded graphs, so feedback is welcome if you experience any difficulties viewing the results. The experience is optimal in modern SVG-supportive web-browsers.