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AMD Unveils Low-Priced Graphics Processors, Upgrades SDK

The GPUs, which start at $69, include 512 MB of memory, support HDMI 7.1 surround sound, and feature AMD's TeraScale graphics engine, which has 320 55-nm processing cores.
Advanced Micro Devices has introduced a series of mainstream graphics processors that start at $69.

In addition, AMD released an upgrade of its software development kit for boosting the performance of general purpose applications through the use of the company's graphics processing units.

The 4600 series of GPUs comprise the ATI Radeon HD 4670 and the HD 4650. Both include support for DirectX 10.1, a collection of application programming interfaces for tasks related to games and video on Microsoft's Windows platform.

The mainstream processors are aimed at casual gamers and people who favor entertainment PCs. The products deliver solid graphics performance at low cost. The HD 4670 has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $79, and the HD 4650 has an MSRP of $69.

"Today, AMD is providing mainstream users -- one of the largest segments of the market -- with superior graphics products and performance at previously unheard of prices," Rick Bergman, senior VP and general manager of the graphics products group at AMD, said in a statement.

The HD 4670 operates at a maximum of less than 60 watts and has 512 MB of memory. The product is available immediately. A model with 1 GB of memory is set to ship this month. The HD 4650 operates at a maximum of less than 50 watts and also has 512 MB of memory. The GPU is scheduled for release this month.

Both products feature AMD's TeraScale graphics engine, which has 320 55-nanometer processing cores. The cards provide "smooth" high-definition video viewing through the use of AMD's second-generation unified video decoder, the company said. In addition, they support HDMI 7.1 surround sound audio.

Graphics card manufacturers building products with AMD's latest technology include ASUS, Club 3D, Diamond Multimedia, Force3D, Gecube, Gigabyte, Hightech Information Systems, Jetway, MSI, Palit Multimedia, PowerColor, Sapphire Technology, and VisionTek.

The Stream SDK 1.2 offers features for easier programming and support for key software and hardware standards, AMD said. The upgrade supports Windows Vista, both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and DirectX 9 and 10. AMD has also added support for the ATI Radeon HD 4850 and HD 4870 GPUs. In addition, AMD is releasing a new user's guide.

The latest SDK is available at no charge through AMD's Web site.