GRAPHICS CHIP DESIGNER AMD has launched a trio of Radeon cards aimed at bringing DirectX 11 support to entry level and mainstream markets.
AMD is pitching its Radeon HD6450, HD6570 and HD6670 cards at those who want a little more oomph from Intel's Sandy Bridge graphics core and users who are looking to upgrade from DirectX 9. The Radeon HD6570 and HD6670 use AMD's Southern Islands Turks GPU that is fabbed at 40nm.
AMD is positioning the low-end Radeon HD6470 as a direct upgrade to Sandy Bridge graphics, with prices expected to be in the region of £30 to £40. The 160 stream processor chip will be clocked between 625MHz and 750MHz with either 512MB or 1GB of DDR3 or GDDR5 memory. The latter provides increased bandwidth but at higher cost and heat output. AMD has given board vendors the option of having active or passive cooling with the firm reporting typical power usage at 27W for the GDDR5 memory version and just 20W for the card shod with DDR3 memory.
While AMD has positioned its Radeon HD6450 as an alternative to the very weak Sandy Bridge graphics core, the Radeon HD6570 and HD6670 come up against Nvidia's GT440 cards. The Turks GPU found in the Radeon HD6570 is clocked at 650MHz while in the HD6670 it will be running at 800MHz, with the chip sporting 480 stream processing cores. Once again AMD has chosen to offer GDDR5 and DDR3 memory options for the Radeon HD6570, though only GDDR5 memory will be available for the HD6670.
AMD touts its Eyefinity multi-display technology on all three cards with the Radeon HD6450 and HD6670 supporting three displays and the Radeon HD6670 supporting four. There is support for DVI, Displayport 1.2, D-sub and HDMI and board vendors are generally choosing between HDMI and Displayport with DVI and D-sub on every board we've seen.
The Radeon HD6450 and HD6550 certainly make for compelling low-end graphics cards, especially in home theatre PCs. AMD highlights the HQV benchmark scores for the Radeon HD6450 and its entire Radeon GPU range supports 23.973 frame per second video playback.
Back in 2009 AMD, then still carrying ATI branding, launched the first DirectX 11 (DX11) video cards based on the Cypress chip and now the firm claims it has shipped over 35 million DX11 chips up until the end of 2010. That's an impressive figure, and with the launch of these budget boards that figure is likely to shoot up even further. µ