Sapphire HD 4550 512MB Reviewajmatson - January 13, 2009
Category: Video Cards
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There is so much hype around the biggest and baddest video cards around, but what about more mainstream cards? Not every computer needs a video card that smokes the competition in frames per second. Some computers are built for media viewing, encoding or even for casual home use with little or no gaming, so why go out and spend a fortune on a video card with too much power that is not needed? ATI has been releasing a series of cards targeted towards this very use and one of them is the HD 4550 series. Aimed at the more budget conscious user the HD 4550 cards are not to be taken lightly. With Support for DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1, just because you are buying for less doesn't mean you get less.
Today we are going to be taking a look at the Sapphire HD 4550 which is a low profile, actively cooled graphics card. The HD 4550 is based on the RV710 core and is priced to be competitive among system owners with various uses.
As we are seeing with most mainstream cards being shipped from Sapphire they are coming in smaller more eco friendly boxes. These boxes reduce waste and save on shipping costs helping the environment. The HD 4550 arrived in an attractive box featuring a Sapphire mascot and some of the logos of the features offered on the card. The back of the box expands on the features included in the Sapphire HD 4550 video card as well as how you can play the "Vista way". Another thing of note is how Sapphire always includes the system requirements and what external ports are available on the card on the left spine of the box, so you can find them easily.
Inside the box is a wealth of goodies included by Sapphire. They are one company who always makes sure anything you might need to operate your new hardware is there, so you do not need to go finding adapters elsewhere. Included with the HD 4550 card is a manual, driver CD, low profile bracket converter, component video dongle, S-Video dongle, DVI to VGA adapter, and a DVI to HDMI adapter.
Now that everything is out we can get a better look at the card itself.