AMD has introduced its latest graphics cards in the 4000-series today, a couple of entry-level offerings targeted at those who would like to upgrade from the underpowered IGPs shipping with many systems. The new Radeon HD 4550 and HD 4350 are based on the same GPU architecture first introduced with the popular Radeon HD 4800 series, but with nearly everything reduced in order to lower the price tag.
Both cards offer just 80 stream processors (versus as much as 800 for the Radeon 4800 series) but they still offer UVD 2.0 video processing and support DirectX 10.1 gaming. The 4550ís core is clocked at 600MHz with 512MB of on-board GDDR3 memory, while its lesser sibling, the 4350, is essentially the same but uses only 256MB of slower GDDR2 memory. Either consumes less than 20 watts even under strain and optionally use passive cooling that renders them completely silent.
Both the 4550 and 4350 should be available in October for $59 and $39, respectively. Next month will also see the launch of the Radeon HD 4830, which will pack 640 stream processors, a 256-bit memory interface, GDDR3 memory, and HDMI with 7.1 audio for less than $150.