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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  • Varkyl - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I would also like to know what kind of temperatures these cards are running at. If they are anything like their big brother 4850 they run very hot. So before I even think about buying one of these I would like to know that it isn't adding an incredible amount of heat to my HTPC. Reply
  • Basilisk - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    "The Radeon HD 4350 is an even cheaper alternative to adding 8-channel LPCM output and ...". Please enlighten me how 8-channel is possible on a card w/o HDMI. Are they using Magic? Or is there a way to extract it w/o HDMI? Or is the card they showed in the photo an example of a 4350 that's too-cheap to offer 8-channel? Or....

    Quite possibly I missed the obvious, but I didn't find any 4350's on the ATI site to double check this. Or, perhaps this review had a bit too much sales blurb and too little testing? I agree with others who feel that if you're going to hype 8-channel and HTPC, you ought to be performing quantitative/qualitative tests.
    Reply
  • Veerappan - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    As Natfly mentioned, they use an adapter to transform one of the DVI ports into HDMI (with some of the DVI pins carrying audio data).

    It's probably the same adapter that came in the box of my 4850.
    Reply
  • Basilisk - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    Oh! Then... it's not a DVI-D dual-port card, despite the use of that connector?! Or, they diddle a non-data pin (like +5v for monitor stand-by) to permit both DVI-D/dp and audio? 'Spose that's too much out of an inexpensive card... Thanks for the info! Reply
  • Zoomer - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    If they are DVI-D, the DVI-A pins are avaliable for use.

    If not, there are always unused pins, extra ground pins, etc.
    Reply
  • Natfly - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    They send the audio over dvi, an adapter from ati will turn the dvi input to hdmi output w/ video + audio. I assume the retail packaging would ship with the adapter.

    ie
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • toyota - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    as usual you have some wrong numbers in the charts. the 4650/4670 have 32 texture units not 16. whats strange is that you actually corrected it in the 4670 review only to make the mistake again in these charts. Reply
  • vlado08 - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I also expect comparison of video quality between nVIDIA Ati and Intel
    More explanation about video processing what does this specs mean are they possible to turn off:

    Color space conversion
    Chroma subsampling format conversion
    Advanced vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
    De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
    Detail enhancement
    Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
    Bad edit correction
    Automatic dynamic contrast adjustment
    Full 30-bit display processing
    Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion
    Spatial/temporal dithering provides 30-bit color quality on 24-bit and 18-bit displays

    Is it possible to select the video output range 16-235 vs 0-255 manually?
    I expect that there will be more in dept article for HTPC and mabe there you will explain what should we pay attention to.
    Reply
  • vlado08 - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    Just to add

    Give us a screen shot comparison of the driver setting pages of the Ati nVIDIA Intel.
    I want to know what settings are possible with Clear Video vs Avivo HD vs Purevideo HD.

    Also about how do we select colors rec BT 601 vs rec BT 709
    Reply
  • pfroo40 - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I would have appreciated it if they had included a video quality comparison for this new crop of HTPC cards. I made the mistake of buying a cheap 3450 for bluray, which does accelerates fine but has low image quality. It'd be useful for my next purchase if I had more to base a comparison on. Otherwise, so far it looks like the passively cooled 4550 would be a solid upgrade. Reply

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