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Advanced Micro Devices on Monday said it had begun to ship its new mainstream and entry-level DirectX 10-compatible graphics processors to add-in-card suppliers. The move will help AMD to stop losing market share across various markets to rival Nvidia Corp. in the coming weeks, but the material results will be seen only towards fall.

ATI Radeon HD 2600 and HD 2400 graphics processors are cut-down versions of ATI’s recently released Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics product that also support DirectX 10 capabilities. But the newly unveiled chips have lower performance compared to the higher-end model. ATI Radeon HD 2600 sports 120 stream processors (SPs), 8 texture units (TUs) and 4 render back ends (RBEs), whereas the model HD 2400 has only 40 SPs, 4 TUs and 4 RBEs. Nevertheless, the mainstream and low-end parts feature a more advanced video engine than the high-end graphics chip.

The graphics processing units (GPUs), which were earlier code-named RV610 and RV630, are made using 65nm process technology, which allowed ATI, graphics product group of AMD, to create relatively inexpensive, yet powerful GPUs. As a result, when the new products hit the market, it can be expected that their price will be lower compared to competing solutions by Nvidia amid equal or higher performance.

Graphics cards based on these processors are expected to be available at online retailers within a few weeks from board customers including Asustek Computer, Club 3D, Diamond Multimedia, GeCube, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, Palit, PowerColor, Sapphire and VisionTek.

Nvidia Corp. started to ship its DirectX10-supporting GeForce 8600-, 8500-, 8400- and 8300-series graphics processors in mid-April. The company uses 80nm process technology to make them, but due to the fact that those chips will not have competition on the market for more than two months, Nvidia will still be able to supply quite a lot of them, as they will still be in demand.

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