Your graphics options are pretty limited if you haven't got a PCI-E slot these days, but HIS isn't giving up on the old PCI slot yet. The company has just announced its PCI 5450 Silence 512MB card, specifically for upgrading older systems.
As its name suggests, the card features a passive heatsink for silent cooling, although the specifications are somewhat lacklustre by modern standards.
The card's 650MHz Radeon HD 5450 GPU only has 80 stream processors, and the 512MB of 1GHz DDR3 memory is restricted by a tight 64-bit memory interface. Basically, this isn't a card for playing Crysis at reasonable settings. However, HIS claims that this is the first PCI Radeon card to feature an HDMI output, potentially making it ideal for converting an old PC into a media centre system.
Backwards compatibility has clearly been a consideration in the design of the card, with on-board DVI and HDMI outputs joined by a break-out VGA connection for older, analogue monitors and touchscreens. For those who don't need a VGA connector, a low-profile bracket designed for low profile cases is also included, while a dual-slot bracket offers the best of both worlds.
It's clear from the feature list that HIS has a specific market in mind: home theatre systems. With full 1080p video support, AMD's Unified Video Decoder 2 and the integrated 7.1-channel HD audio codec, owners of old home theatre PCs could finally have a sensible upgrade path available to them.
While UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, select European retailers reportedly already have the HIS 5450 Silence 512MB in stock for around £30.
Do you applaud HIS for continuing to support PCI users, or should companies abandon the standard in favour of the now-ubiquitous PCI-E interface? Share your thoughts over in the forums