When ATi launched the RV770 last summer, few
could predict the amount of chaos that was brought onto the market.
Even today, the barrage of products and the assault on NVIDIA continues, with the
Sapphire Radeon HD 4550. But today, we look at things from a different
perspective. The 4850, 4870 and the X2 series handle the
gaming side of things very well, but the price point of the HD 4550
aims toward a very different market. While we still look at
the gaming capabilities of this card, the testing will be primarily
geared for HTPC and HD playback applications. So sit back,
relax, and let ClubOC torture yet another video card for you.
Packaging and Layout
The way the packaging works with most products is, the more
expensive the product, the more extensive the packaging. No
exception here, the 4550 comes in a box that is only slightly larger
than a typical PC game box. Of course, what kind of box would
it be if there wasn't a scantily clad female on the front?
The card itself is surprisingly small. I can't even remember
owning a smaller card than this one; the only one that comes to mind
is perhaps a really old GeForce 4 MX440. The card is so small,
that the secondary VGA connection is attached to the PCB via a
ribbon cable. The cooling of the core is done by a very quiet
The backside of the card isn't terribly exciting, as all it has to
reveal to us is the other two DDR3 chips.
Speaking of the DDR3, it appears the memory on this card are
provided by Samsung. These are rated for 800MHz bus speed and
1600MHz data speed.