Ok recently on black friday i got a deal, a ATI Raedon 5450 for 20$ (NEW).
After replacing my ATI 4550 with this into my computer my windows rating has went down, despite this being a supposedly superior card.
I boot up a couple of games, and they too drop my rating? What gives this is a newer 1gig card vs a older 512mb card, how can this be possible? or is the software wrong? my games apear to run faster.. but i might just be so hopeful that i'm placebo'ing myself into believing it.
After doing some reading i see some 512 cards beat out 1gig cards, how is this?
Never owned the 4550, but DID have an HD5450.
The HD4550 was a DX10 GPU (like all the HD4K series) - therefore, it was great for XP and Vista, but did not support DX11 gaming.
The HD5450 (despite being based on the Mobility HD5xxx version of HD5K) used identical drivers to the desktop versions - this was, in fact, true of desktop and Mobility HD5K and up (and remains true today - everything from HD5xxx up uses the Catalyst Unified driver).
HD5450, due entirely to being a Mobility-based part, albeit typically in desktop PCI Express clothing (very few were actually used in portable PCs - instead, the similar HD5470 was used) could be manufactured as a single-slot fanless solution - ideal for SFF/HTPC duty. (Visiontek and HIS, along with Sapphire, sold quite a few HD5450 GPUs in exactly that configuration - I had a Visiontek model that lasted from 7 to 8.1; the ONLY reason it got replaced was because I picked up a cheap refurb GTX550Ti - my Mom has the HD5450 today.)
Despite it typically shipping with 512 MB of GDDR3, it was hobbled more by the 64-bit memory bus commonplace to the Mobility GPUs; though 1 GB verions of the same HD5450 were available, the 64-bit RAM bus was the bigger hobble factor.
If you want something that uses little more power, but has better performance, HD57xx/67xx/R7 are drop-in swappables for the HD5450 (though some likely are dual-slot solutions. Some require a single 6-pin PCI Express power plug, while others use only power from the slot (as is the case with HD5450). None should be all that expensive - not even the R7s.