ATI Radeon HD 4550 Budget DX10.1 GPU - HotHardware

ATI Radeon HD 4550 Budget DX10.1 GPU

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HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested all of the graphics cards used in this article on either an Asus nForce 790i SLI Ultra based Striker II Extreme motherboard (NVIDIA GPUs) or an X48 based Asus P5E3 Premium (ATI GPUs) powered by a Core 2 Extreme QX6850 quad-core processor and 2GB of low-latency Corsair RAM. The first thing we did when configuring these test systems was enter their respective BIOSes and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings. Then we manually configured the memory timings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate was installed. When the installation was complete we fully updated the OS, and installed the latest DX10 redist and various hotfixes, along with the necessary drivers and applications.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and NVIDIA Powered


Hardware Used:
Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (3GHz)

Asus Striker II Extreme
(nForce 790i SLI Ultra chipset)

Asus P5E3 Premium
(X48 Express)

Radeon HD 4550
Radeon HD 4670
Radeon HD 3650
Radeon HD 3850
GeForce 9500 GT
GeForce 9500 GT 512MB DDR2
GeForce 8600 GTS
GeForce 9600 GT
GeForce 9600 GSO

2048MB Corsair DDR3-1333 C7
(2 X 1GB)

Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Western Digital "Raptor" 74GB
(10,000RPM - SATA)


Relevant Software:

Windows Vista Ultimate SP1
DirectX June 2008 Redist

NVIDIA Forceware v177.92 / v177.39
ATI Catalyst v8.53

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark06 v1.0.2
3DMark Vantage v1.0.1
Unreal Tournament 3 v1.2*
Crysis v1.2*
Half Life 2: Episode 2*
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars*

* - Custom Benchmark

Futuremark 3DMark06
Synthetic DirectX Gaming


3DMark06

3DMark06 is a synthetic benchmark, designed to simulate DX9-class game titles. This version differs from the earlier 3Dmark05 in a number of ways, and includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased. Max shader length in 3DMark05 was 96 instructions, while 3DMark06 ups that number to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.


3DMark06's default benchmark puts the new Radeon HD 4550 behind all of the other cards we tested here.  We should note, AMD is positioning the card against NVIDIA's GeForce 9400 GT, which we unfortunately did not have available for testing in time for this article.  The GeForce 9500 GT 512MB DDR2 card, however, is available for under $50 after mail-in-rebate, which puts it right in the same price bracket as the 512MB, passively cooled Radeon HD 4550 we tested here.





As we tunnel deeper into 3DMark06's individual shader model tests, the Radeon HD 4550's position amongst the other cards we used for reference does not change.

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Wow... interesting benchmarks. The model number is very deceptive in relation to its sucktitude.

So I use a different dictionary. Wanna fight about it?

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Hmm... "sucktitude" is rather strong there 3vil one. For cheap dough you can get a card that will provide full H.264 offload and some level of graphics, to replace some lame onboard graphics implementation. You get what you pay for. Want to drop $200 on a card or more and you'll get 4X the performance or more... simple math.

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Dave_HH:

Hmm... "sucktitude" is rather strong there 3vil one. For cheap dough you can get a card that will provide full H.264 offload and some level of graphics, to replace some lame onboard graphics implementation. You get what you pay for. Want to drop $200 on a card or more and you'll get 4X the performance or more... simple math.

This is the kind of card I drop im family computers. They don't wanna spend $200 and for $50 they think games look crazy good on cheap cards. All they have to compare to is onboard. I use to only buy $100 or less gpus. Now thanks to my 8800 and even worse the 4870s I'm addicted to the high end.Wink

 

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Good points...

But, being unable to hit 30fps in any modern games is where I draw the "not worth it at any price"/sucks line. For non-gamers, I can see your point.

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