For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers, we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the game World in Conflict at 1600×1200 with medium graphics quality.
Power Consumption Results: When it comes to power consumption the ATI Radeon HD 3450 looked pretty good across the board and was the lowest card that we have ever tested on this system. At full load the entire system consumed 142W , which is impressive to say the least (remember that the test system is a quad-core QX9650 processor, 4GB of memory and an Intel X38 Express chipset). The Radeon HD 3560 used more power at load, but not much more considering the Radeon 3650 has three times the processing power (48GFLOPS versus 174GFLOPS).
The ATI Radeon HD 3650 and Radeon HD 3450 didn’t turn in great benchmark results, but at $49-$99 these are entry level cards and aren’t supposed to be geared at hard-core gamers. At lower resoltions with low quality settings they will easily play older DirectX 9 games, but as you saw in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. benchmark section DirectX 9 games with high quality settings are still demanding on graphics cards. If you are looking for gaming performance the ATI Radeon HD 3850 is leaps and bounds a better choice. The performance more than triples in some cases when going from the Radeon HD 3650 to the Radeon HD 3850 and the overall price in the graphics card doesn’t even double. The Radeon HD 3650 that we looked at today has an MSRP of $99 and the Radeon HD 3850 has a street price of $169.99 shipped.
AMD has come up with a great series with the ATI Radeon HD 3650 and Radeon HD 3450 graphics card and with their low prices it leaves the door open to CrossFire upgrades down the road. With Hybrid CrossFire coming out with the 780G motherboards here in the upcoming weeks the Radeon HD 3450 will again be revisited here on Legit Reviews to see how it does in CrossFire. We will also be looking at Video Playback performance in the future as that is a growing area of interest that can’t be ignored!
Bottom Line: For $49 you can get an ATI 3400 series video card that supports DirectX 10.1, PCI Express 2.0, UVD, DisplayPort and CrossFire technology. Sure, it can’t play games that well, but the feature list is impressive!