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  • The Radeon HD 6450 is on its way
  • OCZ Vertex 2 and Flash continued…
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     The Radeon HD 6450 is on its way
      Posted on 07/04/2011 at 15:42 by Damien
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    Following a discreet announcement at the beginning of February, now AMD has decided to launch the Radeon HD 6450 offically. It won’t however be available for a few weeks. What with availability for OEM clients and the retail availability planned for the end of the month, it’s difficult to say why AMD chose this particular launch date.

    Whatever the reason, the specs haven’t changed from the OEM versions that we presented here in our news item on the subject. Basically, it’s a Radeon HD 5450 with doubled processing power and memory bandwidth that has potentially been doubled as well.

    While this shouldn’t change things in terms of video game performance, which is insufficient, it should mean the Radeon HD 6450 is no longer limited in terms of video improvements. Add to this a more recent video engine, UVD3, which supports full MPEG2, DivX and 3D Blu-ray decoding and you have what looks like the ideal graphics card for an HTPC which isn’t for gaming.

    Note however that the reference card supplied by AMD uses active cooling. Given that AMD has announced a range of clocks for the GPU, we imagine that the highest clocked version (750 MHz) needs active cooling while the version at the bottom of the range (625 MHz) can make do with fanless cooling, a much better solution for an HTPC. Having decided to focus this launch on performance in comparison to the GPUs integrated in the latest Intel CPUs, and not on the video aspect, the actively cooled version is what was sent to the press.

    We will be publishing a test of the Radeon HD 6450 as well as the Radeon 6570 and 6670 which ought to be officially launched pretty soon.

     OCZ Vertex 2 and Flash continued…
      Posted on 07/04/2011 at 10:11 by Marc
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    A few weeks ago, OCZ got caught out after moving over to 25nm on the Vertex 2s. Although this development isn’t problematic in itself, the use of 8 GB chips lead to under-usage of the SandForce controller channels. Performances were as a result halved in sequential writes and there was a reduction in capacity of around 5 GB.

    OCZ did eventually correct the situation by going back to 4 GB dies, still at 25nm, on the Vertex 2s (60, 90, 120 GB) affected by the loss of space and accepted exchanges for customers who wanted this. Unfortunately the story didn’t end there and AnandTech got hold of a Vertex 2 120 GB using Hynix 32nm memory.

    Performance levels still vary because, with incompressible data, Anandtech scored the Hynix 32nm at 95.8 MB/s for sequential writes, against 136.6 MB/s on the original version with 34nm IMFT Flash and 118.5 MB/s with 4GB 25nm chips! Of course these variations are masked with highly compressible data, with scores of 215 to 221 MB/s.

    After some discussion, OCZ has agreed to launch specific versions detailing the memory used:

    - 25nm IMFT 80, 160 and 200 GB: OCZSSD2-2VTX80G.25, OCZSSD2-2VTX160G.25, OCZSSD2-2VTX200G.25
    - 34nm IMFT 60, 120 and 240 GB: OCZSSD2-2VTX60G.34, OCZSSD2-2VTX120G.34, OCZSSD2-2VTX240G.34

    This will guarantee that there aren’t any changes in spec of any given model, something OCZ should have done itself in the first place. NAND and therefore performance can still vary on the original Vertex 2s, which isn't of course a perfect situation. This would improve if OCZ published the minimum expected specs for each version, that’s to say the performance level obtained with incompressible data with the least best range of NAND used.

    Variations in Flash memory within the same range are not of course anything new. Nevertheless, this didn’t previously affect the highest performance models, with only the Agility range affected at OCZ. This change can only be regretted, though the launch in parallel of versions that specify the Flash used is of course a good thing.

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