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I've made no secret of my appreciation for Bulletstorm's cathartic gameplay and gorgeous environments, so it seems like a fitting start to our round of benchmarking. With these budget cards, I turned down the resolution to 1440x900 and set all the graphical options to their lowest settings.

The game has no built-in benchmarking mode, so I played through the first 90 seconds of the "Hideout" Echo five times per card, attempting to keep runs as similar as possible, and reporting the median of average and low frame rates obtained. Fraps was used to record frame rates.

The good news is that the Radeon HD 6450 manages 30 FPS at 1440x900 with the lowest detail settings, which is playable, and the results don't look half bad. What's the bad news? Well, it doesn't provide that great a step up over the Intel IGP, and it's considerably slower than cards like the GeForce GTS 450 and Radeon HD 5770. The exact variants of those faster offerings we tested have slightly higher-than-normal clock speeds and corresponding price premiums, but vanilla versions can be had for not much more than $100, and they should still be much faster than the 6450 and GT 430.