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SAPPHIRE Drives DX11 Into Mainstream and HTPCs

February 04, 2010

SAPPHIRE, graphics card

SAPPHIRE Drives DX11 Into Mainstream and HTPCs

New models in HD 5000 series offer first low profile solution

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 SAPPHIRE HD 5450

New models in HD 5000 series offer first low profile solution 

SAPPHIRE Technology is now shipping a new family of graphics cards in the highly successful HD 5000 series. The SAPPHIRE HD 5450 is a new entry level model aimed at the mainstream and even budget PC market, whist sharing many of the exciting features of the latest high end series.

The SAPPHIRE HD 5450 is based on the latest graphics architecture from the ATI division of AMD, the second generation of GPU to be built in its 40nm process. It is fully compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, including support for the advanced graphical features of Microsoft DirectX 11, and delivers excellent video clarity and visual effects whilst consuming very low power levels. This is the first product family in the HD 5000 series to be built on a low profile card, making it suitable for HTPC applications as well as regular PCs.

SAPPHIRE will offer several variants of this product. They all have 80 Stream processors and support Microsoft DirectX 11 as well as ATI Stream. As the core technology is energy efficient, no external power connection is required, making this series ideal for system upgrades, HTPCs or mainstream PCs that do not have high end power supplies. In addition to the regular full height bracket, the products will include alternative low profile brackets to allow installation into slimline cases.

Options in the SAPPHIRE HD 5450 series include a choice of memory configurations and outputs. Two of the models will offer 512MB of DDR3 memory, and outputs are Dual-Link DVI, VGA and DisplayPort. This card is the lowest cost solution that allows ATI Eyefinity mode to be used to display images over up to three monitors with a suitable Display Port monitor or active adapter. Other models in the family offer a choice of up to 1GB of DDR2 or 512MB of DDR3 memory with the versatile output configuration of DVI, VGA and HDMI, allowing direct connection to a choice of monitors or an HDMI enabled display or television. This family includes the most cost effective DirectX 11 solutions available today.

Native CrossFireX support allows two or more cards to be used together for additional performance on a suitable CrossFireX compatible mainboard. On this series, CrossFireX is supported in software by the driver, and no additional interconnect is required.

The SAPPHIRE HD 5450 series is fully compatible with current DirectX10.1, DirectX 10 and DirectX 9.0 games and applications, but will show stunning new levels of detail, transparency and lighting effects in newer releases of software using DirectX 11. All of this comes with very low active power consumption as well as Dynamic Power Management delivering super low-power operation (8W) in 2D or idle.

TheSAPPHIRE HD 5450 series has an on board hardware UVD (Unified Video decoder) considerably reducing CPU load and delivering smooth decoding of Blu-ray™ and HD DVD content for both VC-1 and H.264 codecs, as well as Mpeg files. In the latest cards the UVD has been enhanced to be able simultaneously to decode two 1080p HD video streams and to be able to display HD video in high quality with Windows Aero mode enabled. HDMI capability has also been upgraded to HDMI 1.3a with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support.

The SAPPHIRE HD 5450 series supports all the latest features demanded by Microsoft DirectX 11, including DirectCompute 11 instructions, hardware Tessellation and multi-threaded communications with the system CPU. These combine to provide new capabilities for the interaction between transparent objects, new lighting and accelerated post processing effects as well as physics calculations and accelerated video transcoding. The series also supports ATI Stream, accelerating supported applications such as video transcoding and rendering tasks by executing instructions on the GPU architecture rather than the system CPU.

The SAPPHIRE HD 5000 series is supported by AMD's DirectX 11 WHQL certified graphics driver which delivers support for all of the key features required for new gaming experiences and acceleration of next generation high performance applications.

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