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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  • Dribble - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I agree - it's not a good HTPC solution if it doesn't give you the same playback quality as a high end card. You didn't test that so you can't really make a judgement, and hence have no basis for saying it is. Reply
  • haplo602 - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    So you are testing 2 cards aimed mainly on HTPC market but all you do is GAME benchmarks ?

    What about a video playback test compared to the best IGP solutions ? I mean CPU offload graphs and such ?
    Reply
  • deruberhanyok - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I agree. The article calls them "Great HTPC Solutions" but how does the article apply to an HTPC? You run a few games with a ridiculously high end processor and motherboard but spend a page talking about 8 channel PCM output and that's how you call it a great HTPC solution?

    How about testing with a low speed processor and micro ATX motherboard more likely to be found in an HTPC? How about using those quieter, cooler components to run a CPU usage test so we can see how well the video decode works? Why not test on a 780G motherboard and show us if hybrid crossfire works with the current drivers?

    Why not compare the card's video decode capabilities against the current line of IGPs? If you have a motherboard with an IGP that can competently accelerate high definition video then the question becomes "is it worth the $40-$50 for one of these over your current card-less solution?"

    If someone is interested in one of these cards for an HTPC, how well it runs Crysis when paired with a quad core Core 2 Extreme is not a remotely important question.

    What kind of rationale made this article make any kind of sense?
    Reply
  • deruberhanyok - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    And now that I look at it again I wonder how you compared these cards to onboard video such as the 780G.

    Do you have a 780G board that can run that quad core Core 2 Extreme processor so we could see an actual comparison? Maybe you ran them with a Phenom X4 sitting at around 3.5GHz so the numbers would be reasonably close to those put up by the Core 2 Extreme.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I actually went back through the review assuming I had double-clicked or something and bypassed the practical comparisons that actually MATTER with these cards. I'm shocked there is nothing. I routinuely stick up for the articles here, but this one is really poor. Reply
  • Strid - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    Yeah, I agree. That is pretty important for the point the author is trying to prove. Also, the cards seem pretty power hungry? It's difficult to tell from the charts, but they're pretty close to the 4670 and 9500GT? I would have liked to see power ratings for only the 4550/4350. Sure they blow the hat off IGPs, no question, but at what power cost? Reply
  • Manabu - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    Acording to AMD, they use less than 20W at full load. The 4670 should use less than 60W. Also note that the PSU ineficiency afects the charts. Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    This was the system power - measured from the wall. Unfortunately, the power used by video card is difficult to measure (if at all possible without a big budget). Some guesses on the power use would be fine, though, and some temperature readings too Reply
  • BigLan - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    Can either of these run in hybrid crossfire on a 780g or 790gx motherboard, or does only the 3450 work?

    These cards sound really nice for converting an older box into a htpc, though I'm not sure if lpcm audioo out is such a big deal at this price point - you're going to need a relatively expensive receiver to take advantage of it, so the $30 difference between a 4550 and 4650 isn't going to really matter, though the passive cooler might.
    Reply
  • hiphile - Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - link

    I'm testing two of the MSI 1GB DDR3 R4550 cards, running on Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and they are are running in Crossfire mode, no additional power is required other than plugging it into the PCI-E slots. The performance is decent, but I think I would opt for the 4850 cards. Reply

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