AMD has rolled out its anticipated ATI Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 graphics chip families, pitching the DirectX 10.1 parts right at the budget end of the business.
AMD's Radeon HD 3650: one GPU, many SKUs
The 3600 series comprises just the 3650, but expect it to be available in a wide range of versions differentiated by memory type and speed. The core runs at 725MHz. It connects to memory over a 128-bit wide bus. Memory options include 256MB of 800MHz GDDR 3, and 256MB, 512MB and 1GB or 500MHz DDR 2.
The 3650 - aka 'RV635' - supports HDMI, but it'll be available with DisplayPort adaptors too, as we saw at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) a couple of weeks ago.
'RV620' is the other part, arriving as the Radeon HD 3450 and 3470. The former's clocked at 600MHz, the 3470 at 800MHz. Both support a 64-bit memory bus, connecting to 256MB of 500MHz DDR 2 in the case of the 3450 and 256MB of 950MHz GDDR 3 for the 3470.
AMD's 3450: budget HD
Again, HDMI is on board, as is DisplayPort.
All three GPUs support Hybrid Graphics, what AMD is calling its version of getting a discrete GPU to work co-operatively with a motherboard's integrated graphics core, specifically the one in AMD's 780G chipset.
AMD's 3470: Hybrid Graphics supported
AMD claimed Hybrid Graphics yields up to 1.8 times the rendering power of the 780G's GPU alone. That's with a 3450 board in place - if adding a 3650 was significantly better, AMD would have used that as the benchmark.
The chip maker said the 3650 will consume less than 75W when running at full tilt. It didn't disclose 3450 and 3470 power draws, but we'll fill in the gap when we review the cards in due course.
Running up the price range, the 3450 will come in at the $49-55 band, the 3470 between $59 and $65, while the 3650 varieties will fall between $79 and $99. Since they'll all be branded 3650, check a board's memory spec to make sure you're getting the card you think you are.