Sapphire HD5550 Ultimate ReviewNerm - May 5, 2010
Category: Video Cards
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Are you in the process of building a new system? Well one of the most debated aspects of a build is your video card, mainly because there are so many of them out there. Picking the right video card depends on what you are planning on using your system for. If you are going for a high performance build for gaming and video editing, you should be looking for the top-performing card out on the market. On the other hand, if you are looking for a video card to give you some good looking graphics, lower power consumption and a smaller hit in the piggy bank, you should be looking at the more mainstream cards for your setup. Sapphire has just released their HD5550 Ultimate, a mainstream card that is not only going to offer you DX11 support, but also going to give it to you in a silent package with a completely passive cooling system. I am curious to see exactly how well this card is going to stack up against the other cards out on the market in its class.
The front of the package for Sapphire's new HD5550 Ultimate video card has a nice large image of a warrior woman dressed in white with a sword, looking like she is ready to go to battle. The top left corner is where you are going to find the Sapphire logo, with the 1GB DDR2 logo off in the top right hand corner. Below the 1GB DDR2 logo, you will find the Ultimate logo that Sapphire has placed on the package with the tag, "Passive Silent cooling" printed below, letting you know that there is no fan on the card and it is going to be fully passive cooling. Radeon HD5550 is printed towards the middle of the box to let you know what model is inside. Below that, you are going to find the ATI Stream GPU Processing, Onboard HDMI and DVI, CrossFireX Ready, and 40nm process badges to give you an idea of some of the features the card has. The back of the package is going to get into more detail, list off some of the features, and give you a description of each of them. The side of the package is where you will find the system requirements of the HD5550, such as the operating system that is required to use the card, as well as a few other hardware related requirements.
When you open up the outer package, you will find a brown box that holds the Sapphire HD5550 card securly and should prevent any damages that may occur during the shipping process, this includes not only an anti-static, bubble-wrap bag, but also piece of gray foam at the top to keep the card from sliding around inside. The card itself is wrapped in cardboard in orderto keep it from being squished and to help keep the heatsink from being damaged. Under the card is where you will find all of the accessories, which only includes the driver installation CD and two installation documents.
Now that we know how the Sapphire HD5550 is packaged and what it comes shipped with, its time to take a closer look at the card and see what sets it apart from its competition.