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ATI Radeon 9550: low-end fights continue

No matter how hard GPU vendors try to excel in the high-end segment, the mainstream solutions will always be the bestselling with the market share of about 70%. This has already became a tradition: having been introduced in some powerful and monstrously expensive GPU, the new architecture moves down to the mid-end and then to the low-end to earn its maker some good profits.

NVIDIA´s latest mainstream was GeForce FX5500 and FX5700LE DirectX9 solutions. According to Chinese sources, ATI is to promptly launch the mass production of inexpensive Radeon 9550 GPUs in addition to already shipping Radeon 9600SE products.

The preliminary benchmarks of two Radeon 9550-based cards published at HardSpellindicate that Radeon 9550 is, most likely, a kind of DirectX9 RV350 "rejects" in the same FC-BGA package as Radeon 9600 has, but lower clock rates of about 250MHz. The more powerful sample supports 128MB of 5ns/128-bit/400MHz memory (that´s almost a copy of GeForce FX 5700LE specs, excluding the fact that some of the latter, like Leadtek WinFast A360LE TD, will have 256MB memory). Moreover, Radeon 9550 PCB design resembles that of Radeon 9600 much, so the production launch shouldn´t take long. Radeon 9550 shipments (64-bit and 128-bit memory) are to start this month.

According to our colleagues from GZeasy.com, ATI Radeon 9550 preliminary benchmarks indicated rather good performance for this class. It seems Radeon 9550 will find its niche among other similar products, including NVIDIA FX5500, FX5700LE, Radeon 9600SE. In China they believe that prices for ATI Radeon 9550 cards won´t exceed 600 yuan (about $70).

More details on the novelties are expected within these days.

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