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5 out of 5 eggs Efficient and Adequate for Mild/Moderate Gaming 03/13/2009

This review is from: SAPPHIRE 100252HDMI Radeon HD 4550 512MB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card

Pros:

Plays games like Bioshock, Prey, Oblivion, COH, Mass Effect, Portal surprisingly well although I am not gonna quote framerates. If you are the type of person going to install Fraps and are interested in actual FPS in these games, you probably aren't going to like this card.

Its not slow, more like what I would call adequate. I average, depending on the game, a resolution of 1280x960 and medium settings. Its pretty close to buttery smooth, maybe a quick hitch or lag every now and then.

No fan, no noise whatsoever. I have found that fanless cards sometimes are so quiet that you can hear the circuitry which defeats the purpose of fanless, but nothing like that from this present card.

My whole aim for this card was not for a HTPC, I have an older HP laptop for that. But I have to say that the video is gorgeous with .MKV x264 encoded with handbrake. Have not tried Blu-ray yet but I'll get to it.

Does not add a lot of heat to the case, I am guessing that it uses ~18 watts

Cons:

Clocks are 600 core 750 mem, which is different than advertised, but easily fixed with the ATI driver.

Had a little trouble setting this up with a specific Viewsonic vx2035wm 16x10 20 inch LCD. As soon as the driver loaded then the display would report no signal at 1680x1050 under DVI. I would have to reboot and then it would be fine as long as the analog was used. Booting into safe mode worked fine under DVI, but not with the proper loaded driver. Very weird but as soon as I plugged up my 4:3 Samsung, it was smooth sailing under DVI. It is undoubtedly a monitor/display driver problem, and it needs to be fixed, but I liked my samsung better anyway.

This card would run so much better with more bandwidth, so if you are to overclock, start with the ram. This card kind of reminds me of a Chevy Aveo with a V6 in it. Plenty of power, really small wheels. I think if they were to put a 128-bit memory bus on this card, there would be no reason for the 4650.

Other Thoughts:

My whole philosophy regarding computers is efficiency. Of course a 9600 gt gets much better performance per watt of power, but in terms of absolute efficiency this card rocks. It is about as powerful as a 6800 gt or a 7600 gs in older games and as good or better than a 7600 gt in newer games. I consider this true progress when we have more performance for less power. A decent mild gaming card and a superb media card all for 18 watts max. All in all Daddy likes....

My build is SFF using an
XFX 630i mobo,
4GB crucial ddr2,
an intel core 2 duo E7300 @ 1.6 Ghz passively cooled and at less than 1 volt,
My trusty Chaintech AV710 Envy 24GT
Antec TruPower 430
Ultra Microfly black SFF case
Sapphire 4550 @ 600/850

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  • Jeffrey P.
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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