Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 Ultimate & HD 5550 OC Reviewgotdamojo06 - July 12, 2010
Category: Video Cards
Price: HD5670 Ultimate - $119.99 | HD5550 OC - $99.99
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Are you looking for a new video card for your system? If you're looking for something that's going to be able to play just about all the games out there; but maximum settings are not a requirement, you may just be in luck with two of the newest budget cards from Sapphire. They have just released their HD 5670 Ultimate and the HD 5550 overclocked cards. These cards use ATI's new GPUs to allow for DX11 gaming which is what these cards are designed to allow you to do. It is always a constant battle between all of the mainstream budget cards, so I am very curious to see exactly how these cards will stack up against the competition in their class.
The packaging for the Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 Ultimate is completely white, giving the product a very elegant overall look before you even open it up. The top left hand corner is where you are going to find the Sapphire logo printed and as you move over to the right hand corner, you will see the ArcSoft SimHD plugin tag as well as the 1GB GDDR5 tag. There is an image of a warrior woman who also happens to be wearing white and light gray clothes wielding a sward go give you the impression that the HD 5670 Ultimate is ready for battle against the other cards. Along the bottom of the package is where you are going to find a few more badges to let you know some of the main specifications and features that the card has such as ATI Eyefinity Multi-Display, Onboard DisplayPort and HDMI, CrossFireX Ready and ATI STREAM GPU Processing; you are also going to find the Microsoft DirectX 11, PCI Express 2.1, and Superfast memory tags. When you take a look at the back of the package, you will find the gamer face with a pair of headphones or earmuffs on, with the tag ling under it saying "Silent Passive Cooling...." letting you know that the card is going to be 100% silent as it has no fans installed on the heatsink. You are also going to find a bunch of badges on the back such as Microsoft DirectX 11, ATI Eyefinity Multi-Display, ATI CrossFireX, Advanced Memory, HDMI with Audio Support, Shader Model 5, and ATI Stream Technology which we will get into later when we look at all the specifications and features of the card.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 5550 Overclocked Edition has the exact opposite packaging look than the HD 5670 did as it is colored completely black. There is an image of a woman on the front of the HD 5550 OC package as well, however she has a pistol in her hand that has a laser sight for a more stealthy battle against the other cards in her class. You are still going to see the Sapphire logo printed at the top left hand corner and have the 512 GDDR5 badge in the upper right hand corner to let you know what kind of memory is used on the card, and when you take a look at the bottom of the front, you are going to still see a list of badges such as ATI Eyefinity, Onboard DisplayPort and DVI, CrossFireX Ready, and ATI STREAM GPU Processing as well as the Microsoft DirectX 11, PCI Express 2.1, and Superfast Memory tags under the badges. When you look at the back of the package, you are going to see even more badges that we will go over in the specifications and features of the card and give you a nice description of each, however you are also going to see the ATI Eyefinity badge on the back of the HD 5550 OC package with an image of what it looks like with three large displays.
When you open up the package for the Sapphire HD 5670 Ultimate , you are going to see a brown box that has everything tucked away inside of it; this is going to include two CDs, the user manual, a few accessories, and of course the Sapphire HD 5670 as well. The two discs that are packaged with the card are the Driver Installation disc as well as the SimHD Plugin for IM applications. The SimHD Plugin is going to give you near HD video over your instant messaging client that you choose to use. There are a few accessories that are included inside the package, you are going to get a CrossFireX bridge just in case you wanted to increase your performance and add a second card to your setup, you are also going to find two dongles, one is going to go from DVI to analog, while the other is going to go from DVI to HDMI.
After opening the package for the Sapphire HD 5550, you are going to see a very similar brow box as you would with the HD 5670, however you are only going to get the user manual as well as the HD 5550 itself included. All of the drivers can be downloaded from Sapphire's or ATI's website and reduces the amount of wasted discs and helps the company be more green.
Both the Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 Ultimate and the HD 5550 OC are wrapped up in a bubble bag that has the anti-static properties to help not only keep it from being physically damaged during transportation, but also to help prevent any type of static shock when you first open up the package or even during the shipping process. Pulling them out of the bags, you can see a big difference between the two cards, the HD 5670 Ultimate has no active cooling solution installed on it, meaning that is going to have to have a very large heatsink to help battle the heat problem. The HD 5550 OC has the small Arctic Cooling heatsink/fan setup attached to the GPU to help prevent any overheating issues that may occur during normal operation of the card.
Now that we know how the cards are packaged, it's time to take a nice and close look at the cards themselves and see how they are put together.