Company: AMD
Authour: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: February 4th, 2011
AMD Introduces OEM Only Radeon HD 6400, 6500 & 6600

AMD Radeon Graphics
AMD Radeon Graphics
AMD introduces three new AMD Radeon HD 6000 series models today, making 4 in row for the OEM market. The new Radeons include the HD 6450, HD 6550, and HD 6670. All three cards feature the Terascale 2 architecture carried over from the AMD Radeon HD 5000 series, codenamed 'Evergreen', and support AMD Eyespeed for HD3D and Blu-ray 3D playback with the new UVD 3. Both the HD 6670 and 6570 feature the same core ASIC, but differ in power usage and form factor.


AMD Eyespeed
AMD Eyespeed

The new cards are based on the Northern Islands series GPU's codenamed Turks and Caicos.

AMD Radeon HD 6670 OEM

Featuring 480 stream cores the Turks XT this is an evolution of AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5670, which used the Evergreen series Redwood XT core. The same 128-bit memory interface is retained, but texture units jumps from 20 to 24, to go with the extra SIMD. Engine Clock speed is bumped to 800MHz from the Redwood XT's 775MHz clock, with 512MB or 1GB of 1000MHz GDDR5 (4Gbps QDR). It supports DirectX 11, OpenCL 1.1, OpenGL 4.1, AMD Eyefinity for 3 to 5 displays (with DisplayPort hub), AMD HD3D and HDMI 1.4a packed frame, DisplayPort 1.2, and is a single slot, full height, actively cooled card powered by the slot - no external power connector.

AMD Radeon HD 6670 OEM
AMD Radeon HD 6670 OEM

Full details at AMD here.

AMD Radeon HD 6570 OEM

When AMD launched the Redwood based series of ATI Radeon HD 5000 series cards, it did so into two product lines, the HD 5600 and the HD 5500. The main differentiators between the two product lines are the form factor and power envelopes. Like AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5570 it replaces, the Radeon HD 6570 is a half-height, single slot actively cooled card. Using the Turks Pro core it has the same 480 stream cores/24 texture units of the HD 6670, but lower clock speeds for both engine and memory, and a DDR3 option. The engine and memory clocks are the same as the outgoing HD 5670, at 650MHz core clock and DDR3 or GDDR5 memory. The DDR3 option offers 512MB at 900MHz/1.8Gbps (DDR) for 28.8GB/s memory bandwidth, while the GDDR5 option is 512MB or 1GB at a full 1GHz clock, for 4Gbps QDR and 64GB/s memory bandwidth.

AMD Radeon HD 6570 OEM
AMD Radeon HD 6570 OEM

As above, the card supports all kinds of AMD technologies, full details here.

AMD Radeon HD 6450 OEM

The AMD Radeon HD 6450 is the biggest change up from the model it replaces, as the Caicos core offers double the stream cores of the ATI Radeon HD 5450. The HD 6450 is a half-height, single slot, dual output card, unlike the HD 5450 which was half-height, passively cooled dual slot form factor with three outputs. This card supports AMD Eyefinity, but it's not clear exactly how without purchasing an as-yet unreleased MST hub for the DisplayPort 1.2 output. With the hub it is capable of driving four displays, three from the DisplayPort 1.2 output and 1 from the DVI. The picture shows a space for a third display output header, like the 6570, but this may be implemented by OEM request only.

AMD Radeon HD 6450 OEM
AMD Radeon HD 6450 OEM

The HD 6450 uses the Caicos core and has 160 stream cores, clocked between 625 and 750MHz depending on the OEM's preference. A choice between DDR3 and GDDR5 is offered, in 512MB or 1GB quantities. Memory clock ranges are wide as well, from 533 to 800MHz when using DDR3, and 800-900MHz when using GDDR5. These flexible clocks allow OEMs to tailor the card to their design's TDP exactly. Full details here.

Universal Video Decoder

Unlike the recent AMD Radeon HD 6700 OEM only cards, all three card feature the new and improved UVD 3 dedicated hardware. For the 6700 series, a new firmware and a stream core based algorithm was used to validate Blu-ray 3D support, so OEMs could sell fully 3D capable computers. With the new 6400, 6500, and 6600 series cards, AMD includes extra stream cores and the new UVD 3 block. AMD is not disclosing architecture details at this time, so it's not yet known if the anisotropic filtering hardware seen in the AMD Radeon HD 6800 series Barts GPUs is included.

Universal Video Decoder 3
Universal Video Decoder 3

UVD 3 is a strong point for AMD in the media playback and content space. With hardware accelerated Flash, DiVX, MPEG-2, AVC and VC-1, as well as simultaneous dual strema 1080p decoding, there are a lot of reasons to want one in your next off the shelf PC. If you've already got a HD 5000 series there is little offered in the way of gaming performance increase. However, if you're using the media capabilities of the card, the extra SIMD could allow better quality video using the AMD Video ehancements such as vector adaptive deinterlacing, or advanced quality enhancements like edge enhancment, denoise and deblocking.

Blu-ray 3D has a lot of associated costs (display, glasses, 3d driver software, playback software), and leaving it to the OEM to bundle or support the additional requirements makes a lot of sense. Additionally, the end-user market home brewing their own 3D setup is a small market, who want gaming performance that these products can't deliver. The Radeon HD 6800 and 6900 series have that market covered. How the card reports the product ID will dictate if the specific OEM card is supported in the monthly Catalyst driver updates, or instead relies of a validated driver from the OEM to be available. By restricting to their own supplied and validated drivers, OEMs can manage support issues and bug fixes or updates as their organization wants.

AMD FUSION

These products also compete with AMD's new FUSION APU offerings. Currently in the netbook and low-end notebook markets, AMD's Fusion strategy will soon include HTPCs, SFF PCs, tablets, low-power desktops and mainstream notebooks and desktops. Adding to the AMD Bobcat based APUs on the Brazos platform will be the new AMD Fusion APU platform codenamed Sabine. At the heart of Sabine is the 32nm APU codenamed Llano, which will feature up to four x86 processor cores and a graphics unit strikingly similar to Turks. This doesn't make the discrete cards obsolete, as APU CrossfireX could give extra performance to users without needing dual graphics expansion slots or full sized PC's. For consumers looking to build ultimate HTPC boxes, AMD Fusion APUs are a better solution because of the form factor and power efficiency while still offering great video and audio capabilities and performance.

AMD
AMD
What about users running DirectX 10 (or older) hardware? Wouldn't they like to get on the latest and greatest? Well, yes, obviously - however the release to OEM only is a business prioritization - getting the OEMs to include them in their designs is money in the bank, a primary focus for AMD. With TSMC's 40nm fabrication capacity now strained by both AMD and NVIDIA, retail launch will have to wait until Q2 2011. 



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