Radeon HD 5750 & HD 5450 Graphics Cards

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Our test procedure is an in-system test, designed to:

1. Determine whether the cooler is adequate for use in a low-noise system. By adequately cooled, we mean cooled well enough that no misbehavior related to thermal overload is exhibited. Thermal misbehavior in a graphics card can show up in a variety of ways, including:

  • Sudden system shutdown, reboot without warning, or loss of display signal
  • Jaggies and other visual artifacts on the screen.
  • Motion slowing and/or screen freezing.

Any of these misbehaviors are annoying at best and dangerous at worst — dangerous to the health and lifespan of the graphics card, and sometimes to the system OS.

2. Estimate the card's power consumption. This is a good indicator of how efficient the card is and will have an effect on how hot the stock cooler becomes due to power lost in the form of heat. The lower the better.

Test Platform

Measurement and Analysis Tools

Estimating DC Power

The following power efficiency figures were obtained for the Seasonic S12-600 used in our test system:

Seasonic S12-500 / 600 TEST RESULTS
DC Output (W)
AC Input (W)

This data is enough to give us a very good estimate of DC demand in our test system. We extrapolate the DC power output from the measured AC power input based on this data. We won't go through the math; it's easy enough to figure out for yourself if you really want to.

Testing Procedures

Our first test involves recording the system power consumption using a Seasonic Power Angel as well as CPU and GPU temperatures using SpeedFan and GPU-Z during different states: Idle, under load with CPUBurn running to stress the processor, and ATI and FurMark running to stress both the CPU and GPU simultaneously. This last state is an extremely stressful, worst case scenario test which generates more heat and higher power consumption than can be produced by a modern video game. If it can survive this torture in our low airflow system, it should be able to function nominally in the majority of PCs.

The software is left running until the GPU temperature remains stable for at least 10 minutes. If artifacts are detected by ATI's artifact scanner or by eye or any other instability is noted, the heatsink is deemed inadequate to cool the video card in our test system.

If the heatsink has a fan, the load state tests are repeated at various fan speeds (if applicable) while the system case fan is left at its lowest setting of 7V. If the card utilizes a passive cooler, the system fan is varied instead to study the effect of system airflow on the heatsink's performance. System noise measurements are made at each fan speed.

Our second test procedure is to run the system through a video test suite featuring a variety of high definition clips. During playback, a CPU usage graph is created by the Windows Task Manger for analysis to determine the average CPU usage. High CPU usage is indicative of poor video decoding ability. If the video (and/or audio) skips or freezes, we conclude the GPU (in conjunction with the processor) is inadequate to decompress the clip properly. Power consumption during playback of high definition video is also recorded.

H.264/VC-1 Test Clips

H.264 and VC-1 are codecs commonly used in high definition movie videos on the web (like Quicktime movie trailers and the like) and also in Blu-ray discs. To play these clips, we use Cyberlink PowerDVD.

1080p | 24fps | ~10mbps
1080p H.264: Rush Hour 3 Trailer 2c is a 1080p clip encoded in H.264 inside an Apple Quicktime container.

1080p | 24fps | ~8mbps
WMV-HD: Coral Reef Adventure Trailer is encoded in VC-1 using the WMV3 codec commonly recognized by the "WMV-HD" moniker.

x264/MKV Video Test Clip

MKV (Matroska) is a very popular online multimedia container used for high definition content, usually using x264 (a free, open source H.264 encoder) for video. The clip was taken from a full length movie; the most demanding one minute portion was used. We use Media Player Classic - Home Cinema to play it as its default settings allow it to use DXVA (DirectX Video Acceleration) automatically when used with a compatible Intel/ATI graphics chip. For Nvidia graphics we use CoreAVC to enable CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) support in MPC-HC.

1080p | 24fps | ~14mbps

x264 1080p: Spaceship is a 1080p x264 clip encoded from the Blu-ray version of an animated short film. It features a hapless robot trying to repair a lamp on a spaceship.

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