Competition heats up in the mid range during that time. All prices are 2008 prices. This is how it is back then. The verdict is “Cheap Yes” But will the 4600 series be cheap enoough?
Not everyone can stump up $400+ for a videocard, so it’s no surprise that AMD has rolled out two new mid-range offerings. Dubbed the 4670 and 4650, both cards feature 320 stream processors and are based around a 55nm core.
Together these cards make up the architecturally new 4600 series. The 4670 runs a core speed of 700MHZ, while the 4650 slows things down to 600MHZ.
With full DX 10.1 support as well as advanced hardware HD video decoding they are set to take on the NVIDIA 9600 and 9500 series videocards.
The ATI 4600 series is also designed to run at very low wattage, with the 4670 using less than 60 watts, while the 4650 tootles along below 50 watts.
While everyone wants to save some money off their power bill, the real advantage here is that
the 4600 series doesn’t need any extra power connectors.
Currently the 4670 is available with 512MB of DDR3, while the 4650 saves a little cash by using 512MB of DDR2. The 4670 is also set to be released with as a 1GB variant down the track. The 4600 series uses a 128-bit memory bus, but with the 4670 RAM running at 2GHz bandwidth is not an issue.
While selling for under $100 in the USA, the 4600 series is a fair bit more expensive here in Australia. At the time of writing the 4650 has not yet hit our shelves; however the 4670 is available for under $150.
Prices should drop as a more cards are available. Early reports put performance of the 4670 a little slower than the 9600 GT, however with the 9600 GT available for under $130 online, the 4670 is not yet particularly competitive. That said, the 4670 does look perfect for HTPC use thanks to the vendor option of including an HDMI port and native audio.
While it is great to see AMD get competitive in the mid to low end of the GPU market those prices definitely need a thorough going over. Keep an eye out in the next issue as we put the new cards through the paces and find out what your next mid-range purchase should be.