updated 09:00 am EST, Wed January 23, 2008
AMD Radeon HD 3400 3600
AMD this morning released what it says are some of the first entry-level desktop video cards to provide video features previously reserved for high-end models. Both the starter Radeon HD 3400 under the company's ATI label and more mid-range Radeon HD 3600 series share the same basic architecture as the high-end Radeon HD 3800 but reduce the clock speed and number of stream (graphics shader) processors to bring the price to a reasonable level; where the 3800 goes with a full 320 stream units, the 3400 series goes with 40 and the 3600 uses 120, AMD says. In spite of this, all the new cards support enhanced lighting and other visual effects in DirectX 10.1 and newer versions of OpenGL 2; they are also some of the first to support as many as two DisplayPort connectors for newer, advanced displays such as the Dell 3008WFP.
Either card lineup is also capable of fully decoding 1080p video in hardware and can pipe up to 5.1-channel audio through any video card with an HDMI connection, making them ideal for home theater setups. Every card is single-slot and fits into slimmer PCs; however, the base Radeon HD 3450 is also capable of running entirely on passive cooling and is virtually silent even in tight enclosures.
This as well as the higher-clocked Radeon HD 3470 and more complex Radeon HD 3650 all attach through PCI Express 1.0 or 2.0 slots and are already slated to ship inside computers from major computer makers, though these have not been named outside of Dell; Apple currently uses their immediate precedents, the Radeon HD 2400 and 2600, in its iMac desktops. Stand-alone cards for PCs are expected to sell between just $49 and $65 for the Radeon HD 3400 line and $79 to $99 for the Radeon HD 3600 range.
Radeon HD 3470
Radeon HD 3650