SAPPHIRE Technology, the leading manufacturer and worldwide supplier of AMD/ATI based graphics solutions is introducing two new graphics families aimed at mainstream users. The new SAPPHIRE HD 4550 is a new mainstream product based on the architecture of the highly successful HD 4000 series. With its 80 stream processors, core clock speeds of 600MHz and carrying 512MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 900MHz (1.8GHz effective) the SAPPHIRE HD 4550 brings features previously associated only with high end cards to the cost conscious user. These include DX 10.1 compatibility, on board hardware UVD version 2.0 with support for AMD’s Avivo HD, HDMI support with 7.1 surround sound as well as extremely low power operation featuring AMD Powerplay dynamic power management. The SAPPHIRE HD 4350 has a similar architecture, and has the same 80 stream processors and 600MHz core clock speed, but uses the more cost effective DDR2 memory running at 400MHz (800MHz effective). All the other features are similar to the SAPPHIRE HD 4550. Both new models use the PCI-Express Gen2 interface, and support CrossFireX in software, allowing two or more cards to be used together on a CrossFireX compatible mainboard for higher graphics performance. The series uses the powerful graphics architectures from the ATI division of AMD, incorporating multi-purpose stream processing units, improved memory management architecture and an upgraded hardware video decoder. SAPPHIRE graphics cards in the HD 4000 series support the latest ATI Avivo HD Technology for enhanced Video display and feature a new generation built in hardware UVD (Unified Video decoder) considerably reducing CPU load and delivering smooth decoding of Blu-ray and HD DVD content for both VC-1 and H.264 codecs, as well as Mpeg files. SAPPHIRE HD 4000 series graphics cards are Microsoft Windows Vista Premium certified and supported by the ATI Catalyst suite of software, ensuring customers have ongoing access to software updates for performance, stability and added features. Like the previous generation, these cards support DirectX10.1 for enhanced rendering performance and lighting effects.