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In an attempt to drive the latest DirectX 10 features down to all market segments, both ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, and Nvidia Corp. plan to roll out a set of inexpensive DirectX 10-supporting graphics cards that are set to be sold in retail at the prices at or below $99.

ATI plans to commercially launch its Radeon HD 2400 Pro and HD 2400 XT graphics cards with 256MB of memory officially priced at $69 and $89, respectively on the 28th of June, industrial sources indicated. Nvidia reportedly plans to release its GeForce 8400 GS solutions with 128MB or 256MB memory onboard on the 19th of June. Sources familiar with Nvidia’s plans said that the GeForce 8400 GS 256MB will cost $89, whereas a 128MB flavour is projected to cost significantly lower than that. Prices of ATI Radeon HD 2400-series graphics cards with 128MB of memory are unclear.

Low-cost DirectX 10 solutions will allow both leading suppliers of standalone graphics processors to boost their market shares, as large system integrators tend to advertise advanced capabilities, such as DirectX 10 and HD video playback, but keep prices of their systems low to appeal to mass customers.

ATI Radeon HD 2400 graphics chips are fully compatible with DirectX 10 and feature advanced Avivo HD video engine. Both Radeon HD 2400 Pro and XT sport 40 stream processors (SPs), 4 texture units (TUs) and 4 render back ends (RBEs), but while the XT features core-clock of 700MHz and memory clock at 1400MHz, the Pro version operates at 525MHz/800MHz for core/memory. Both chips are made using 65nm process technology and are equipped with 64-bit memory controllers.

There are not a lot of details about Nvidia’s GeForce 8400 GS, but what is known is that it features 16 unified shader processors, 64-bit memory controller and 450MHz/800MHz core/memory clock-speeds. The G86 chip is made using 80nm process technology.

Neither AMD, nor Nvidia officials commented on the news-story.

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