AMD to launch new GPUs this month

AMD is planning to launch mid-range ATI Radeon HD 4000-series GPUs (the ATI Radeon HD 4600-series) this month and two 45nm quad-core CPU by the end of this year, according to sources at motherboard and graphics card makers.

AMD will launch the ATI Radeon HD 4650 graphics card, adopting its RV730 core with 512MB DDR2 memory, and the HD 4670 in two versions, one with 512MB GDDR3 memory and the other with 1GB DDR3 memory. The cards will be priced between US$69-89. For the entry-level market, AMD will launch the ATI Radeon HD 4550 in late September. A version with 512MB DDR3 memory will be priced at US$45-55 and a version with 256MB DDR3 memory will cost US$39-49. In mid October, the company will launch the ATI Radeon HD 4350 with 256MB DDR2 memory priced below US$49.

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What I'm more curious about is how well they perform vs. the older (specifically, HD2xxx/HD3xxx) GPUs that now occupy this pricing space (the entry-level discrete space). If performance for the HD4650 is better than HD3850, then ATI has a winner on their hands. (Why is the HD3850 the chipset AMD must trump? Because with the intyroduction of these two new GPUs, it's obvious that HD2xxx is about to croak, leaving HD3xxx as the new entry-level, and HD3850 is now the king of what's left of the AGP crop. If ATI wants to keep the mainstream market, then the HD46xxx, which competes with the nV 9600GT and respun 8 series, must be better than HD3xxx, yet not be so strong as to outclass the stellar HD4850.)

Hooray for competition! If only Creative Labs had the same kind of competition that ATI / Nvidia does...