PowerColor Radeon 5550 Graphics Card Reviews

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:D9H22cScpVKZxM:http://itfanat.com/images2/radeon-hd-5550-performed-by-club-3d-and-powercolor-3.jpgGaming is becoming a big part of most peoples’ lives these days. The cost of living and the diminishing wages are making it hard for people to go out and enjoy the finer things. Buying a game sitting back and relaxing, may be the only way someone can relax. The problem with this is that gaming hardware can be expensive. PowerColor wanted to answer this problem for the consumer by releasing a new series of graphics cards. The PowerColor Radeon 5550 may not be a power house likes its big brothers but it holds its own so let’s take a look at it:


Provided by: PowerColor

Price: $69.99

Closer Look:


Specifications and Features:

  • 627 million 40nm transistors
  • TeraScale 2 Unified Processing Architecture
    • 320 Stream Processing Units
    • 16 Texture Units
    • 32 Z/Stencil ROP Units
    • 8 Color ROP Units
  • DDR2 memory interface
  • PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
  • DirectX® 11 support
    • Shader Model 5.0
    • DirectCompute 11
    • Programmable hardware tessellation unit
    • Accelerated multi-threading
    • HDR texture compression
    • Order-independent transparency
  • OpenGL 3.2 support1
  • Image quality enhancement technology
    • Up to 24x multi-sample and super-sample anti-aliasing modes
    • Adaptive anti-aliasing
    • 16x angle independent anisotropic texture filtering
    • 128-bit floating point HDR rendering
  • ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology2,3
    • Three independent display controllers
      • Drive three displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
    • Display grouping
      • Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
  • ATI Stream acceleration technology
    • OpenCL Support1
    • DirectCompute 11
    • Accelerated video encoding, transcoding, and upscaling4,5
  • ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology6
    • Dual GPU scaling
  • ATI Avivo™ HD Video & Display technology7
    • UVD 2 dedicated video playback accelerator
    • Advanced post-processing and scaling8
    • Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
    • Brighter whites processing (blue stretch)
    • Independent video gamma control
    • Dynamic video range control
    • Support for H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, and Adobe Flash9
    • Dual-stream 1080p playback support10,11
    • DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
    • Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP12

      • Max resolution: 2560×160013
    • Integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio

      • Max resolution: 1920×120013
    • Integrated VGA output

      • Max resolution: 2048×153613
    • Integrated HD audio controller

      • Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
      • Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats
  • ATI PowerPlay™ power management technology7
    • Dynamic power management with low power idle state
    • Ultra-low power state support for multi-GPU configurations
  • Certified drivers for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP

  1. OpenCL compliant driver and SDK release scheduled for later in 2010
  2. ATI Eyefinity Technology can support up to 6 displays using a single enabled ATI Radeon™ graphics card – the number of displays may vary by board design and you should confirm exact specifications with the applicable manufacturer before purchase. ATI Eyefinity technology works with games that support non-standard aspect ratios, which is required for panning across multiple displays. To enable more than two displays, additional panels with native DisplayPort™ connectors, and/or certified DisplayPort™ adapters to convert your monitor’s native input to your cards DisplayPort™ or Mini-DisplayPort™ connector(s), are required
  3. ATI Eyefinity technology works with games that support non-standard aspect ratios which is required for panning across three displays
  4. Requires application support for ATI Stream technology
  5. Digital rights management restrictions may apply
  6. ATI CrossFireX™ technology requires an ATI CrossFireX Ready motherboard, an ATI CrossFireX™ Bridge Interconnect (for each additional graphics card) and may require a specialized power supply
  7. ATI PowerPlay™, ATI Avivo™ and ATI Stream are technology platforms that include a broad set of capabilities offered by certain ATI Radeon™ HD GPUs. Not all products have all features and full enablement of some capabilities and may require complementary products
  8. Upscaling subject to available monitor resolution
  9. Adobe Flash video acceleration and post-processing is supported for H.264-encoded content. Requires Adobe Flash Player 10.1 plug-in and ATI Catalyst 9.11 or higher video driver..
  10. Blu-ray or HD DVD drive and HD monitor required
  11. Requires Blu-ray movie disc supporting dual 1080p streams
  12. Playing HDCP content requires additional HDCP ready components, including but not limited to an HDCP ready monitor, Blu-ray or HD DVD disc drive, multimedia application and computer operating system.
  13. Some custom resolutions require user configuration


Graphics Engine RADEON HD5550
Video Memory 512MB DDR3
Engine Clock 550MHz
Memory Clock  
Memory Interface 128bit
DirectX Support 11
Bus Standard PCIE 2.1
Standard Display Connecors DL-DVI/HDMI/VGA
Feature Support
DirectX Support 11
OpenGL Support
CrossFireX Technology Support
ATI Stream Technology Support
ATI Eyefinity Technology  
ATI Hypermemory Technology Support
Display Support
VGA Output  
DVI Output Dual Link DVI-I x1
HDMI On Board
TV Output  
HDTV Output  
HDCP Support Support
Maximum Resolution
VGA 2048×1536
DVI 2560×1600
HDMI 1920×1200
Power Specs + Board Dimensions
Board Dimensions 168mmx111mmx19mm
Minimum System Power requirement (W) 400W
Extention Power Connector  


Testing Rig:

Testing Setup:



I will be testing the Powercolor Radeon 5550 against a 5570 and 5570 in crossfirex.




Overall the 5550 is a pretty decent entry level card. It definitely fills the gap between the 5450 and 5570. For $20 more you can get a 5570 1GB model so depending on how destitute you are it may be better to pay the extra $20 but on the other hand the 5670 is another $20 more than the 5570 so you can keep steeping up over and over again. For its prices the 5550 is a great card and performs much better than the 5450.

Would I recommend this card? If you are building a complete rig and are lacking in money for the video card than the 5550 gives you DX 11, 512 ram, and playable frame rates on a lot of games with lowered setting so it is a great card for this applications. If you are upgrading just the graphics card…I would suggest saving just a little more and getting a 5570.


  • Great Prices 
  • Decent Scores
  • 512MB Ram
  • Great Quiet Cooling
  • No Additional Power Cable Needed
  • Great Output Connector Choices


  • 5570 is Very Affordable and Significantly better in a lot of the Tests
  • Full Sized PCB so it Will not Work With low Profile Cases


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