AMD counters Sandy Bridge with cheap GPUs -

With the launch of Intel's Sandy Bridge range, the strokers of beards and people in the know were swift to declare that cheap discrete GPUs had been consigned to the dustbin of history.

However, it now seems that AMD is fighting back by offering a Radeon HD 6450 for $55 which is better than the Intel HD Graphics 3000 core available on Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors

The new Radeon HD 6450 has some of the same features as its higher-end Radeon HD 6000 family. AMD has saved its cash by hacking into the 'Caicos' GPU used on this card to reduce cost and power requirements.

It has 160 stream processors along with eight texture units, four ROPs and a 64-bit memory bus. There will be two flavours. One has a 1GB of GDDR3 memory and another 512MB of GDDR5. As you would expect the GDDR5 variant has a 750MHz GPU and a memory speed of 800-900MHz, while the GDDR3 model runs at 625MHz and clocks its memory at 533-800MHz.

AMD appears to have put the card out there simply to act as a spoiler for those who think you should be moving to a super-fast Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processor with its Intel HD Graphics 3000 core.

As far as a GPU goes, it does not compete particularly well against the GeForce GT 430 or even the older Radeon HD 5550. However if you compare it to the cost of an i5 and then factor in the cost of decent CPU, AMD seems to be in the running to give Sandy Bridge a good kicking as we noted yesterday.