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ATI Radeon HD 4550 and ATI Radeon HD 4350 Graphics Cards Announced

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#1
AMD today announced the introduction of the ATI Radeon HD 4550 and ATI Radeon HD 4350 graphics cards, the latest additions to the award-winning ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics line up. These feature-rich graphics cards deliver exceptional gaming and HD multimedia performance at value prices. Both cards are based on the same technology found in the celebrated ATI Radeon HD 4800 series, including support for the latest DirectX 10.1 games and superior HD multimedia capabilities. Delivering mainstream-class performance at a value price, the ATI Radeon HD 4550 graphics card plays demanding game titles previously unplayable by cards in this price segment, and for less than USD $59 for a 512MB memory configuration. An even more incredible value, the ATI Radeon HD 4350 graphics card is the ideal introduction to the ATI Radeon HD 4000 series, priced for less than USD $39 for a 256 MB memory configuration, giving gamers and multimedia enthusiasts more features than products available from the competition today.

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#2
I fail to see the purpose of so many releases in the low-end with a few $ of difference and negligible performance increases, when there are great IGPs and much faster chips so close below the $100 mark. I can see a place for the HD4350 as it might have many benefits over IGPs, because these can't play HD content with visual enhancements. But once you get that with the HD4350 at $40, what's the purpose of another card for $60? The 9500GT is already below that and faster. You have the HD4670, HD3850 and 9600GSO for $70 and so on...
 

brian.ca

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#3
I fail to see the purpose of so many releases in the low-end with a few $ of difference and negligible performance increases, when there are great IGPs and much faster chips so close below the $100 mark. I can see a place for the HD4350 as it might have many benefits over IGPs, because these can't play HD content with visual enhancements. But once you get that with the HD4350 at $40, what's the purpose of another card for $60? The 9500GT is already below that and faster. You have the HD4670, HD3850 and 9600GSO for $70 and so on...
I think with the small upgrade from the 4350 to 4550 you lose the fan for passive cooling. The advantage over the 9500GT I would guess offhand (I didn't really look into that card to double check) is the multi-channel LPCM over HDMI. Probably giving it more value where the performance differences as I believe you suggested are probably negliable.
 
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#4
I haven't looked into it, but isn't that present in the HD4350? That's what I mean what does the HD4550 offer over the HD4350 if it's not a bit more performance? And then if performance is a concern all other cards I mentioned offer much more for the money.

Also I always found sound over HDMI something secondary, innecesary. Most people I know have separate sound systems conected through optical wires. Most people looking for HTPCs usually have separate sound systems and most of the times they use PC monitors rather than TVs. I'm talking about people at universities etc. Most of other people just use standalone players.
 

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#5
The HD 4550 looks a good card. Its stock cooler gives away a nice (aesthetic) chipset cooler idea.

@Darkmatter, 9500GT was launched in the same range, HD 4550 not going to be $60 forever. Filling the segment with SKUs, this is something I hold even NVIDIA guilty of (as even they contribute to the segment). Let's get on with it.
 
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#6
I will probably grab a 4350 for my htpc if its around 40$.
 
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#7
Sooooooooooooooo... we're not going to see a 4850x2 this month after all, huh? :wtf:

Maybe it would lower the prices of the 4850 & 4870 too close to the holiday season.
 
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#8
Can anyone verify if either of these cards support HYBRID crossfire with the 780G chipset. I was anticipating on tossing my 3450, and getting one of these. I checked ATI/AMD's site and all I see is CrossFirex Support :(
 
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#9
The HD 4550 looks a good card. Its stock cooler gives away a nice (aesthetic) chipset cooler idea.

@Darkmatter, 9500GT was launched in the same range, HD 4550 not going to be $60 forever. Filling the segment with SKUs, this is something I hold even NVIDIA guilty of (as even they contribute to the segment). Let's get on with it.
I didn't said Nvidia was not doing the same. They start higher though and there it might make more sense than on the $50 range. It's just a matter of 10-20$ there...

My comment was more an the line of why two cards on those segments? HD4650 can't be too far in price dor example. The market would be well without either 4550 or 4650 IMHO. Or without the two.

If the price comes down it's even worse then you have two cards with $5 of difference, pointless.
 

Abu Assar

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#10
DarkMatter,
If you considered other markets outside usa ,you'll see the benefits of these cards very well.

for example , here in egypt the US $ = 5.5 EGP roughly, so 40$ and 70$ has 165 EGP in between , this means the difference isn't as small as u think

and also if you considered south America and Africa and china , every 1$ counts !

reagards
 
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#11
Can anyone verify if either of these cards support HYBRID crossfire with the 780G chipset. I was anticipating on tossing my 3450, and getting one of these. I checked ATI/AMD's site and all I see is CrossFirex Support :(
I'd also like to know the answer to this. Probably the 4350 will, but I'd like to be sure.
 
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#12
DarkMatter,
If you considered other markets outside usa ,you'll see the benefits of these cards very well.

for example , here in egypt the US $ = 5.5 EGP roughly, so 40$ and 70$ has 165 EGP in between , this means the difference isn't as small as u think

and also if you considered south America and Africa and china , every 1$ counts !

reagards
I have considered all markets thank you very much and I'm not from the US. Maybe you don't know this, but one of the market strategies, the one behind all this flooding of the market by both companies, has no other purpose than avoid prices of the bigger cards to plummet. With the 4550 for example they can avoid the HD46xx cards to lower their price too much, because most ones willing to pay $50 take the HD4550 instead of waiting a bit. By waiting Ati/Nvidia/... get no money and because people wouldn't buy the HD4650 until it was around $50. They would get the same amount of money, but much later. This way they get the money and can move on. In essence less cards would help a lot more those markets you talked about.
 
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#13
What are the odds of these cards coming out for the PCI bus?
 

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#14
I haven't looked into it, but isn't that present in the HD4350? That's what I mean what does the HD4550 offer over the HD4350 if it's not a bit more performance? And then if performance is a concern all other cards I mentioned offer much more for the money.

Also I always found sound over HDMI something secondary, innecesary. Most people I know have separate sound systems conected through optical wires. Most people looking for HTPCs usually have separate sound systems and most of the times they use PC monitors rather than TVs. I'm talking about people at universities etc. Most of other people just use standalone players.
I believe all of the 4k series supports 8 channel LCPM over HDMI though it looks like the reference card only has a DVI connector and though that's easily converted to HDMI I was always under the impression that even with the conversion it won't pass on audio (pretty sure it's like that on a sat box I recently set up). But at any rate I said that was the benefit of those cards over a higher performing 9500 GT (which I think is between the cost of the two ATI cards?), not between the two cards themselves. Between the two, the main reason I see to pay the extra $10 or $20 bucks would be for the fanless design. Fanless in htpc cases is always nice. Not sure how much of a boon the extra power is at that level.. ATI says the 550 can handle a second high bit rate video stream for picture in picture where the 350 probably can't but with out seeing the numbers the extra power sounds like more of a bonus than major selling point.

The importance of audio over HDMI varies at different levels so it's probably easily arguable both ways. 8 channel LCPM seems to be important if you want to play DVDs on your htpc and have more than 5 speakers (sounds like even with just 5.1 it may still offer better quality). A standalone player would let you get the extra discrete channels but it's one more component which costs more money where you could put it elsewhere for cheaper, where in that compoent's absence you'd probably just but another optical drive anyways, and overall lets you further centralize all you media & functions (the true beauty of a htpc). Looking quickly offhand at the futureshop site, the cheapest blue ray player I see is for $250.. the drive I bought for the htpc I'm putting together was $150 where I'd already be spending $25 anyways on a normal dvd drive (so I essentially only spent $125 where I'd otherwise spend $250 going with a standalone) plus the cost of wires to hook up the standalone.

It's nice to just have the hdmi connector but some comps will have an optical or coaxial out which I'm pretty sure gives the same quality audio signal. Not all will though, plus in some cases it might be nice to have a second one. For the set up I'm working on I want the HTPC to connect to the tv and the receiver (which inturn can also forward the video signal back to the tv) so I can forego the receiver depending on whether I want sound through the speakers (music or movies from the comp) or not (watching TV shows saved on the comp). Currently to do that I have to send one signal out via hdmi or optical, and the other through red and white RCA's to a single 3.5mm jack. A digital audio output to the TV isn't **really** needed but to get that along with better video hardware acceleration ain't too shabby. Plus it's also one less set of wires to buy and route.

For the kid in collage who has a computer to do school work already and uses it to download and watch videos I'd agree any of this is kinda pointless... but for the person who wants to make a htpc to hook up to their TV and stereo, especially if they want to use it to to replace other components (specifically the DVD & CD players in my case) these definately look like good cards, and as someone actually doing that atm I'd probably pay the extra $20 for the fanless card and extra power (even if it probably won't really be needed)
 

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#15
Wow wow wow, hold on... :laugh:

First of all, I have to say that I thought the fanless one was the 4350. Being the other way it makes more sense, though my point still remains to a point, they could have made the 4350 fanless after all.

About the sound over HDMI, all I said is based on my personal experience and almost everyone I know around me. In fact all of them, me included, have good sound setups with good amplifiers. High definition sound is really pointless unless you play it with a good sound setup and if you have one, you want the sound to come from the source and you want it through a higher quality wire, like optical. In that situation HDMI is completely pointless, not only it won't let you have the sound directly from the source, but it's quality is inferior.

Many can argue the difference is small and it doesn't matter. Well, the difference is huge and it matters to many (that's why I have X-Fi, ANY intgrated audio sucks in comparison). Spending $1000++ on a HD video setup for watching Blu-ray and not use a good sound system is pointless IMHO and that's why HDMI sound is pointless IMO. I can understand it's useful for many, but it doesn't make sense to me.
 

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#16
Not at all impressed

Hi have the ATI Radeon HD 4350 and I am not impressed.
I have an older 32 bit computer that plays some online games well and now I have a new 64 bit computer with this card and the video on the games is jerky and broken. No problem before. I have to be careful what extra graphics I put onto the online game because it crashes the system right away if I have too much. No problem with the 32 bit computer. So I am not impressed and came here looking for solutions some might have offered.
Whatever the case, the HD TV is good but the rest sucks. :mad:
 
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#17
Hi have the ATI Radeon HD 4350 and I am not impressed.
I have an older 32 bit computer that plays some online games well and now I have a new 64 bit computer with this card and the video on the games is jerky and broken. No problem before. I have to be careful what extra graphics I put onto the online game because it crashes the system right away if I have too much. No problem with the 32 bit computer. So I am not impressed and came here looking for solutions some might have offered.
Whatever the case, the HD TV is good but the rest sucks. :mad:
What is your full system specs?
Also, what OS?
 

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#18
sound card

I have a Dell 546MT with AMD Atholon II X4 620 at 2.6GHz. 4 gigs ram and although I bought Win 7 because it was supposed to run XP mode, it had too many bugs for me and so I installed XP Home on the system for now. Dell has all the drivers for XP and I downloaded them. Here are two screen shots of the ATI Catalyst driver for the card.
I like to play with WOW but the video keeps being very jerky and then crashes the whole system on me. The 546 will run all other applications like video processing and movies in HD easily. I have a Dell 531S that is only X2 processor and it runs WOW fine. All the reviews says WOW should function fine.
 

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