We didn't expect any miracles when it came to testing the HD 5450 in Crossfire. Adding a second card wasn't going to make 1680 x 1050 playable for the simple reason we were so far away from the numbers we needed to see with one card.
What's interesting is just how far along CrossFire has come. In almost every benchmark we saw gains of around 90% with a second card added. Only a few generations ago performance was all over the place with a second card being a hindrance sometimes. You can see that even with these low end cards, Crossfire gains are extremely consistent these days.
What we've also seen here is that the Sapphire cooling option while not looking all that impressive, manages to do a slightly better job than the dual slot reference one.
We're not sure who would ever buy a CF HD 5450 setup, nor do we know why anyone would. It's nice to see just how the technology is performing, though, and great to add some more results to the stable. It will be interesting to compare these numbers to the HD 5500 series due out next week.
The HD 5450 is no doubt a great model for the right user. While that user might not be me, and it might not be you, it could be the next person or the one after that. ATI have done an almost perfect job when it comes to covering the market top to bottom. There's really only a few holes left and they're going to be filled soon with the HD 5500 series and the HD 5830.
By the time NVIDIA release a top end model, ATI would've cemented themselves top to bottom with HD 5000 series models for every budget. The best thing about them as well is that we're seeing new cards, not last generation cards with a new name.
ATI are doing a lot of things right these days, let's just hope they keep it up.