Today AMD unveiled is more affordable Radeon HD 6000-series graphics card with the most expensive model retailing for about US$100. We’ve got a few pictures of some of the partner boards for your viewing pleasure, alongside the specs of the new card after the break.
Starting from the bottom up we have the Radeon HD 6450 and it's quite a step up from the previous generation Radeon HD 5450. For starters the shader count has doubled from 80 to 160 shaders, although the ROPs, stencil buffers and texture units remain the same. The GPU still has a 64-bit memory interface, but at least the clock speeds of both the memory and GPU have been boosted so the GPU is clocked somewhere between 625 and 750MHz with the memory at 533 to 900MHz (depending on memory type). There will be cards with both DDR3 and GDDR5 memory available. The MSRP for cards based on the Radeon HD 6450 is expected to be around US$55 (S$69).
AMD claims 30fps+ in a wide range of titles at 1600×900 resolution, although this appears to be mostly in older titles such as Battlefield BC 2: Vietnam, Lost planet 2, F1 2010, Dragon Age 2 and WoW. That said, reviews of the card doesn't seem to confirm AMD's figures, as the Radeon HD 6450 seems to be struggling at default settings in most of the games listed by AMD. The card also supports Eyefinity for three displays and here AMD clams playable frame rates at 4080×768 (that's three times 1366×768), although judging by the standard benchmarks, this doesn't seem all that likely.
On the upside AMD has added support for HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 which means 3D stereoscopic video is supported for those interested in watching 3D movies for example. AMD doesn't offer its own custom 3D solution like Nvidia, but is instead working on support all types of 3D TVs, displays and shutter glasses. The Radeon HD 6450 also offers better performance in most games than Nvidia's GeForce GT520 which is a more expensive card and it does of course outperform Intel's HD 2000 graphics.
All of the partner cards we've seen so far are variations on AMD's reference design with slightly different coolers, although Sapphire appears to be the only company with a passively cooled card on offer.