updated 09:55 am EDT, Mon June 11, 2007
AMD Ships Radeon HD 2600
AMD's graphics label ATI today began shipping the Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 mid-range cards. While more modest in terms of 3D performance, either board features the company's new Unified Video Decoder absent in the top-end HD 2900; the technology completely offloads processing from the CPU for common HD video formats, including those used for Blu-Ray and HD DVD. This reduction can be critical for lower-cost systems that may not have the raw performance to decode video at its full 1080p resolution. Both also include HDMI output support for home theater PCs.
Both cards are split into Pro and XT versions, with 40 stream (shader) processors on the 525MHz and 700MHz HD 2400 models and 120 processors on the 600MHz and 800MHz versions. Boards are available today from several brands with official prices starting from less than $99 for a Radeon HD 2400 Pro to as much as $199 for a Radeon HD 2600 XT. Systems pre-equipped with the new card should also be ready but were not part of the announcement.