ATI Radeon HD 4550 Budget DX10.1 GPU

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The Radeon HD 4550 will initially be offered in two versions, a larger, passively cooled, 512MB version and a half-height, 256MB version with a small, active cooler.  The slide below has a quick breakdown of the HD 4550's main features and performance related specifications...



As you can see, ATI's reference specifications call for a 600MHz GPU clock with an 800MHz memory clock.  Max board power is only in the 20W range, so neither card requires a supplemental power connector.  What the slide above does not show you is that the Radeon HD 4550 GPU features 80 Stream Processors, 1/10 the number available in the Radeon HD 4850 / 4870. 


  

 
Passively Cooled, 512MB Raden HD 4550 with HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI outputs

The Radeon HD 4550 we used for testing purposes was the passively cooled 512MB variant. As you can see, the board features an L-shaped PCB with a large, heatsink covering almost the entire front side of the card.  Samsung DDR3 memory is used on the card--note we did not say GDDR3.  One way of keeping costs down on the 4500 series is through the use of standard, more affordable DDR3 memory.

The outputs on the card consist of a single HDMI output, a DisplayPort output, and a dual-link DVI output.  Obviously, with 512MB of on-board RAM, a passive--hence totally silent--cooler, and integrated HDMI, this card should be well suited to HTPC applications.



As we have already mentioned, AMD is also introducing the Radeon HD 4350 today.  The HD 4350 is much like the 256MB Radeon HD 4550, but with lower-clocked DDR2 memory.  Although the lower clocked DDR2 memory results in lower peak memory bandwidth, it also results in a lower price.  The Radeon HD 4350 is expected to retail in the sub-$40 price range.

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