With the release of Fusion and Sandy Bridge in early 2011, many have predicted the demise of low-end GPUs like the Radeon HD 5450 or the Geforce 310. Both the entry level products, priced under $50, are severely underpowered, and have very limited use. Featuring only 80 SP, the spec for the entry level product has remained the same for over three years, whereas the next product in line continues to increase substantially every generation. The next product, the HD 5500 series, therefore, has 5 times the number of SP – 400. It is a similar case for Nvidia as well, where the Geforce 310 contains similar specs to the three year old 8400 GT, with 16 SP.

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With the release of Fusion and Sandy Bridge in early 2011, many have
predicted the demise of low-end GPUs like the Radeon HD 5450 or the
Geforce 310. Both the entry level products, priced under $50, are
severely underpowered, and have very limited use. Featuring only 80 SP,
the spec for the entry level product has remained the same for over
three years, whereas the next product in line continues to increase
substantially every generation. The next product, the HD 5500 series,
therefore, has 5 times the number of SP – 400. It is a similar case for
Nvidia as well, where the Geforce 310 contains similar specs to the
three year old 8400 GT, with 16 SP.

AMD Fusion (Llano) is set to feature upto 400-480 SP on die, making it far more powerful than the entry level GPUs, opening up the possibility for gaming and GPU compute acceleration. It is clear that entry level GPUs will decrease in volume substantially, but AMD expects demand for these products even after Fusion is released.

A possible use of these GPUs could be as a backup. There will also continue by CPUs which don’t incorporate a GPU, such as the high-end Sandy Bridge CPUs or AMD’s first gen Bulldozer. However, one could question why a multi-thousand dollar high-end CPU would want to save a few dollars on an entry level GPU.

Certainly, the transition to CPU+GPU / APUs will be slow, and AMD has no intention to discontinue its entry level GPUs in the near future.

Reference: Xbitlabs