ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, on Wednesday enforced its entry-level family of graphics cards with new-generation graphics processing units (GPUs). The new chips promise to deliver exceptional performance on the market of sub-$100 solutions and add pressure on Nvidia Corp., which current product lineup does not contain such potentially strong offerings.
“Today, AMD is providing mainstream users – one of the largest segments of the market – with superior graphics products and performance at previously unheard of prices. The success of the ATI Radeon HD 4000-series validates that AMD’s shift away from the traditional means of producing large, hot, monolithic graphics chip continues to be a successful strategy AMD continues to execute against its timelines and deliver leading graphics performance at every price point,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of graphics products group at AMD.
The new ATI Radeon HD 4600-series graphics processors code-named RV730 feature 320 stream processors (64 VLIW processors), 32 texture units, 8 render back ends as well as 128-bit memory controller. The chips are produced using 55nm process technology at TSMC and contain just 514 million of transistors, considerably less compared to both ATI Radeon HD 4800 (RV770) and 3800 (RV670), which feature 956 million and 666 million, respectively. Like the other members of ATI Radeon HD 3000/4000 families, the new Radeon HD 4600-series fully supports features like DirectX 10.1, hardware decoding and post-processing of high-definition video and has native HDMI support for both video and 7.1 audio.
There will be three ATI Radeon HD 4600-series graphics cards initially:
- ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB GDDR3 with GPU speed of 750MHz and memory speed of 2.0GHz;
- ATI Radeon HD 4670 1GB DDR3 with GPU speed of 750MHz and memory speed of 1.80GHz;
- ATI Radeon HD 4650 512MB DDR2 with GPU speed of 600MHz and memory speed of 1.0GHz.
The ATI Radeon HD 4670 is immediately available with a frame buffer of 512MB GDDR3 memory with a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) from $79, while a 1GB DDR3-based variant is scheduled to ship later this month. The ATI Radeon HD 4650 features a frame buffer of 512MB GDDR2 memory and is expected to be available later in the month at an MSRP from $69.
The ATI Radeon HD 4670 is likely to offer performance comparable to ATI Radeon HD 3850, which means that its direct competitor Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT - renamed GeForce 8600 GTS - will be considerably slower than the novelty at $79 price-point, which may catalyze Nvidia to slash the price on the more advanced GeForce 9600 GT, which will again affect profit margins of the company.