The lowest-end recent Radeon chip, the Sapphire Radeon HD 3450 is aiming very much at the budget end of the graphics card market.

But you get a few nice facilities for such a modest price tag. Most potential purchasers will buy the Sapphire Radeon HD 3450 for its strong HD video support and attractive picture. Games players, as ever, will set their sights on a rather higher spec (and cost) graphics card.

Sapphire has packed a healthy 512MB of RAM into the Sapphire Radeon HD 3450. Admittedly it is merely GDDR2 – having GDDR3 would have allowed for considerably more speed – but nonetheless, 512MB is a decent complement given the price.

After this though, there are some bitter pills to swallow. Particularly when it comes to the 64bit memory interface. Neither do you get a huge quantity of stream processors – 40, to be precise, when ATI's 3650 card, for instance, offers three times this amount for not much more outlay.

So the Sapphire Radeon HD 3450 really needs some good clock speeds to make up for such deficiencies, but 600MHz core and 500MHz (1GHz DDR effective) memory clock speeds aren't going to do it.

Unsurprisingly then, the Sapphire Radeon HD 3450 struggles to get much into double figures when faced with any serious gaming challenge. Although, should you want to play games at modest detail levels and at a resolution of 1,280x1,024 or lower, you should get some mileage from this card.

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Sapphire Radeon HD 3450: Specs

  • Graphics Processor ATI Radeon HD 3450
  • Installed RAM 512MB GDDR2
  • Core Clock 600MHz
  • Memory Clock 500MHz (1GHz DDR effective)
  • Manufacturing process 55nm
  • Stream Processors
  • Memory Interface 64bit
  • Interface PCI Express
  • DirectX 10.1 support yes
  • DVI yes
  • video in/out no/yes
  • Graphics Processor ATI Radeon HD 3450
  • Installed RAM 512MB GDDR2
  • Core Clock 600MHz
  • Memory Clock 500MHz (1GHz DDR effective)
  • Manufacturing process 55nm
  • Stream Processors
  • Memory Interface 64bit
  • Interface PCI Express
  • DirectX 10.1 support yes
  • DVI yes
  • video in/out no/yes

OUR VERDICT

There are a lot of cheap graphics cards available now. The Sapphire Radeon HD 3450 has some nice technology on board and may appeal to those who want decent video and modest gaming capabilities. If your needs are greater though, you'll have to set your sights rather higher.

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