Oooh, new GPUs from AMD - however these ones aren't going to be breaking any performance records, they are both priced below $60.

The Radeon HD 4350 and 4550 are slotted in between integrated graphics and the set of hardware we took a look at recently in our Radeon 4670 review. The Radeon HD 4550 will run you around $45 - $55, while the Radeon HD 4350 will be priced at $39. Generally speaking, if you're a gamer you're not spending any less than $150 for a graphics card - so these GPUs are mostly for enabling hardware Blu-ray acceleration or providing a boost in performance over games running on integrated graphics.

  ATI Radeon HD 4870 ATI Radeon HD 4850 ATI Radeon HD 4670 ATI Radeon HD 4650 ATI Radeon HD 4550 ATI Radeon HD 4350 ATI Radeon HD 3870
Stream Processors 800 800 320 320 80 80 320
Texture Units 40 40 32 32 8 8 16
ROPs 16 16 8 8 4 4 16
Core Clock 750MHz 625MHz 750MHz 600MHz 600MHz 600MHz 775MHz+
Memory Clock 900MHz (3600MHz data rate) GDDR5 993MHz (1986MHz data rate) GDDR3

1000MHz (2000MHz data rate) GDDR3

or

900MHz (1800MHz data rate) DDR3

500MHz (1000MHz data rate) DDR2 800MHz (1600MHz data rate) DDR3 500MHz (1000MHz data rate) DDR2 1125MHz (2250MHz data rate) GDDR3
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit 64-bit 64-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 512MB 512MB 512MB GDDR3 or 1GB DDR3 512MB 512MB or 256MB 256MB 512MB
Transistor Count 956M 956M 514M 514M 242M 242M 666M
Die Size 260 mm2 260 mm2 146 mm2 146 mm2 ? ? 118 mm2
Manufacturing Process TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm
Price Point $299 $199 $79 $69 $45 - $55 $39 $199

 

 

While the Radeon HD 4670 was quite impressive with 320 stream processors, the same number that was in last year's Radeon HD 3870, the 4350 and 4550 only have 80 SPs. That's twice the number of SPs in AMD's 780G, the current highest performing IGP solution on the market. In our Radeon HD 4670 review we found that the GPU was fast enough for pretty much all current generation games at resolutions up to 1280 x 1024, but with only 1/4 the shader power of its $75 brother we don't have high gaming expectations from these cards.

Both the 4550 and 4350 are mated with a 64-bit memory interface and either a DDR2 or DDR3 frame buffer. With very little memory bandwidth, and very little processing power you need to have good expectations for these cards.

The competition from NVIDIA is a little blurrier; while the GeForce 9400 GT is priced more in line with where we expect these cards to end up, NVIDIA does have one trick up its sleeve. The GeForce 9500 GT, paired with 256MB of DDR2 memory (the same type you'd get on your desktop) is priced at around $65 - $70 but is currently available with a $15 - $20 mail in rebate, bringing it down to the about same pricepoint as the Radeon HD 4550.

The Perfect HTPC Cards
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  • TA152H - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I'm a little surprised there were no tests with the AMD IGP and these cards. Individually, they don't perform so well, but did Anandtech forget that AMD allowed their IGPs to work with discrete cards now, so you can get benefit of both. Assuming even a 30% boost, the 4550 would change pretty considerably in terms of what it can and can't do.

    Also, some people with older systems might be inclined to pop one of these in to run Vista on their older system. If these come in AGP, I'll surely buy a few, they are absolutely excellent cards for an incredibly low price. Sites like this can whine about what it isn't, but what is it will sell extremely well. The price is right, it will run Vista adequately, offloads work from the processor for playback, and is silent (the 4550 anyway). It's going to sell really well, especially for people with AMD IGPs that want them to work together. Again, it's a pity Anandtech didn't have the sense to try this out and see if it was worthwhile.
    Reply
  • Devo2007 - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I see there are three connectors on the 4550 card. One of them is obviously HDMI, the other one is DVI, but what's the third? Could it be a DisplayPort connector or something like that? Reply
  • Wineohe - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I'm of the camp that I would never go this route if I was serious about building an HTPC system. I would frankly not play games anyway on an HTPC system and even with the 4550 game play is marginal. As mentioned by another post the power consumption is terrible. The G45 still seems like the best HTPC solution. If it were more powerful in terms of 3D it would probably be more inefficient also. I guess if you were really stuck with your system board (budget) or you wanted 8 channels (you have an AMD board) then it is a solution. Reply
  • Nil Einne - Thursday, February 05, 2009 - link

    Um, the G45 is an UTTER POS even for most HTPC purposes. Post processing options are virtually non existant, it doesn't support PIP IIRC, it doesn't have decent audio over HDMI support either and the drivers have numerous problems (e.g. with 1080p altho perhaps this is fixed). If you want integrated, go the AMD ATI 3200/3300 (780/790) or perhaps the 9300 for Intel Reply
  • Nil Einne - Thursday, February 05, 2009 - link

    Apologies, was wrong about the audio output. The G45 audio output is fine (actually Intel has had 8 channel LPCM for a long while). But my comments on post processign and particularly driver issues and 1080p support were right, e.g. http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3430&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3430&am...

    The worst thing is, Nvidia and ATI/AMD are continually improving their drivers in terms important for HTPCs whereas Intel doesn't seem to much
    Reply
  • VaultDweller - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    OK, so I admit I've always been a bit confused when people start talking about HDMI audio support on video cards.

    How does the video card actually get the audio from the sound card to output it? From the picture it looks like the 4550 has an HDMI input and output... but doesn't that mean the sound card needs to have HDMI output to pass it to the video card? And aren't there almost no sound cards with HDMI output?
    Reply
  • deruberhanyok - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    No, the video card has an audio controller built-in, and you get the HDMI video and audio if you use the built-in HDMI port (or, for Radeon cards that do not have an HDMI port built-in, you get the video and audio if you use the included DVI->HDMI adapter).

    A sound card is not required. This works for regular audio as well (from games or your operating system).
    Reply
  • ThermoMonkey - Sunday, October 19, 2008 - link

    Sorry to say but that's not true at all. The Video card takes the audio signal from a sound card and combines the sound with the video output to pass through the HDMI. Look for your self http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeonhd4500/index.htm...">http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeonhd4500/index.htm...

    "HDMI - Enjoy the latest audio technologies using HDMI with 7.1 digital surround sound support delivering 8-channel audio. Also, xvYCC support allows the user to enjoy a wider range of colors when connected to a capable HDTV."

    It says surround sound support (not integrated) which only means that it connects to an on board (mobo) sound card via PCI bus to provide 7.1 channel audio.

    Many competing graphics cards have a SPDIF connection to pass the audio through HDMI but that is only 2 channel. That's what separates this card from the rest.
    Reply
  • woolooloo - Thursday, October 30, 2008 - link

    Sorry, but actually it is you who are wrong. Listed in the specs table for the 4350 (and I'm sure the 4550 is the same):

    Integrated HD audio controller with up to 2 channel 48 KHz stereo or multi-channel (7.1) AC3 enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution
    Reply
  • VaultDweller - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    An additional question... Is there actually any reason that I should care about this with a 5.1 speaker/receiver set (linkage: http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet...">http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/sto...0551&.... Reply

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