As we alluded to just last week, AMD released today two new graphics cards targeted at the low end of the market, with amazingly low prices. It’s no surprise that AMD is gunning hard for NVIDIA with this round of graphics cards, but it’s the low-end market where things really get interesting, as you can almost buy three of these GPUs for less than a hundred dollars.
Given how well the approach AMD took with the Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 cards worked, it’s unsurprising to see a similar tack used here. Both cards use the same GPU, AMD’s RV710. The RV710 is based on, and shares much with its big brother RV770 that’s used in the flagship cards, but scales things back a bit. As implied, the differences between these two cards lie solely in the memory implementation with the HD4350 using 256MB of 1000MHz GDDR2 RAM and the HD4550 using either 256MB or 512MB of 1600MHz GDDR3 RAM.
The RV710 core in each card is a 242 million transistor chip clocked at 600MHz and featuring 80 stream processors. These cards are really aimed at very casual gamers as well as HTPC and HD video enthusiasts. They both use AMD’s Avivo hardware HD decoding subsystems. Each card can also upscale video to what AMD calls “beyond 1080p”, and the upscaling of DVDs are given special mention.
Interestingly enough, both the 4550 and the 4350 use 20 Watts or less of power under maximum operating levels; the low power and low heat put out mean that the cards should be made available with passive cooled solutions. That is to say, no fans are needed. It’s good news for HTPC builders who strive for quiet computers so as to avoid sound intruding upon the theater experience.
The HD4350 will retail for $39 while the HD4550 will go for twenty dollars more, at $59.