Sapphire HD5550 Ultimate ReviewNerm - May 5, 2010
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Lets go back to my original question, are you looking for a new card for your system? Well Sapphire's newest card, the HD5550 may just be the solution you are looking for if you are building a new setup. Now we all know that this card is not going to be able to push the games to their fullest potential at maximum settings. What this card is going to be able to do though, is give you that extra power when you are building a new computer that is being designed as an HTPC or a workstation where image/video editing is going to be done or CAD work.
The gaming performance that the card was able to give was not too bad when compared to the other cards. The limited clock speeds did slow down the card quite a bit, I would've liked to see a little bit higher of memory speeds on this card, as that would have helped out with the scores. The limited 1GB of GDDR2 memory is what effected the gaming scores quite a bit, there was not only the capacity issue, but the issue of not being able to have high memory speeds/bandwidth limited by the memory generation choice.
The fact that the card does not have an active cooling solution, means it won't sound like there is a 747 flying around inside your chassis, allowing you to have a graphics card that supports DirectX 11 inside your HTPC and have a near silent operation. The lower power consumption of the card does add even more value to anyone building an HTPC, as you will be able to use a smaller power supply (350 Watt suggested by Sapphire) and not have to worry about trying to find enough power for all of the components inside.
The DirectCompute 5.0 technology is going to allow you to use the card for CAD applications and give you better performance than using an integrated video solution. DVD and Blu-ray playback is also a big plus with this card if you are looking to build an HTPC, as it will allow you to use what ever format disc you wish to, only being limited to the drive that you have installed in the system.
Overall, if you are looking for a card for general use, an HTPC build, or even a system that is going to use CAD applications that support ATI Stream technology, you may just want to pick yourself up a Sapphire HD5550.
- Relative Performance
- Silent & Effective Cooling Solution
- Power Consumption
- DirectX 11
- DirectCompute 5.0
- CrossFireX compatable
- 1 GB GDDR2
- Stock Clock Speeds