The Radeon HD 4350 is the most modest card in ATI's range. With a price of just $75, it's aimed squarely at the budget PC builder who wants rudimentary media capabilities.
As with the HD 4550, ATI has included several features that make this an ideal media card. Our sample was passively cooled - so it won't make a peep of noise in your home theatre PC (HTPC) - and the HD 4350 can be had in smaller, half-height versions to ensure that it will fit in the tiniest of cases.
Several different video outputs are supported, from the standard DVI-I and VGA to more modern HDMI and DisplayPort, both of which come with integrated audio support for tidier cabling.
Our Blu-ray tests proved that the HD 4350 is more than capable of handling high-definition decoding. During our test, the single-core CPU in our low-specification PC never ran at over 45% load - not quite as efficient as the HD 4550, but more impressive than the scores returned by both of Nvidia's media cards.
Gaming performance was less impressive. The HD 4350 maintained playable frame rates in Crysis, Call of Duty and Far Cry 2 at low settings, but those tests were the card's limit. If you're looking for more graphical power on a budget, the $125 GeForce 9500 GT is more convincing, but even that isn't a gamer's card.
In contrast, the HD 4350 is the ideal card for its primary purpose. It isn't for gaming, but it's powerful enough to handle Blu-ray and comes with the same range of features that the rest of this month's media cards have too - at $75, it's a steal.