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PowerColor X1550 512MB Extreme Video Card Review


Closer Look Continued

PowerColor chose to utilize the standard two-hole heat sink design. So all you have to do to remove it is squeeze the two pins on the bottom of the card and out it goes. Here is the HSF (Heat Sink Fan) removed.

They used a thermal pad! Thermal pads are generally considered 'bad' as they don't transfer heat as well as thermal paste can. This is not a big issue though, as this card does not produce much heat anyway. Once again, this HSF uses the standard two-hole clip and two-pin connector, so you can change the HSF pretty easily. The foam around the thermal pad is a cheap little shim. In other words, it prevents the fan from rocking all around the sensitive core of the graphics card, damaging it. Here is the core in detail.

You're probably wondering what you're looking at right now. This is the physical GPU of the card, and you might notice that "RV515" is printed on the die - what is this? Every GPU on every video card, whether it be ATI or nVidia, has a specific name. For instance, the G80 is used in nVidia's Ge-Force 8800 series, hence the "G" and "80." The same is true about ATI GPUs. The "RV" suffix means that it is a entry-level GPU and the 515 telling us that it is used in the X1XXX series.

Now, why am I showing this to you? The RV515 is the same chip used in the X1300s. Yes - the very card that it is set to replace. This is why I used the term "refresh" in the beginning of this review - it is basically a tweaked X1300. However, it will still be interesting to see how well it fares.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look Continued
  3. Closer Look Continued
  4. Closer Look Continued
  5. Installation
  6. Specifications
  7. Testing (Setup & Far Cry)
  8. Testing (F.E.A.R)
  9. Testing (COD2)
  10. Testing (Quake 4)
  11. Testing (NFS:MW)
  12. Testing (OCing, Noise) & Conclusion
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