Sapphire RADEON HD 5550 Ultimate VGA Review :: Features

06-11-2010 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Elric Phares
  • 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
  • DDR3/GDDR5 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, 3.3, and 4.0 support
  • 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 technology
  • 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 upscaling
  • ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology
  • Dual GPU scaling
  • ATI Avivo™ HD Video & Display technology
  • UVD 2 dedicated video playback accelerator
  • Advanced post-processing and scaling
  • 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 Flash
  • Dual-stream 1080p playback support
  • DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
  • Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP
  • Max resolution: 2560x1600
  • Integrated DisplayPort output
  • Max resolution: 2560x1600
  • Integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio
  • Max resolution: 1920x1200
  • Integrated VGA output
  • Max resolution: 2048x1536
  • 3D stereoscopic display/glasses support
  • 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

Brand Name Sapphire
Model Number Ultimate HD 5550 1G DR2
Graphics chip HD 5550
Clock Speed 550MHz
Shader Clock 550MHz
SPs 320
Fabrication process 40nm
Transistors 627 million
Memory clock 800MHz
Memory Bus 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 12.8GB
Memory Size 1024MB
ROPs 8
Texture filtering rate 8.8Gigatexels/second
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI support Yes
Connectors HDMI, VGA, DVI-I
RAMDACs 400MHz
Bus PCI Express 2.0
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power connectors None

The RADEON HD 5550 is based upon the same chip as the HD 5570 card. The chip is manufactured on TSMC’s 40nm process, as are all of AMD’s DirectX 11 chips. The chip has 627 million transistors which is the same as on the HD 5670 and 5570 chips on a die size that is 110mm2. This is the chip codenamed Redwood LE, which is the lower version of the HD 5670, and HD 5570 which are codenamed PRO and XT.

The HD 5550 has 320 Stream Processors. While this may seem to be a small number when comparing it to the 1600 found on the HD 5870, it is a big step up from the next lower end chip, the HD 5450 which only has 80 Stream Processors. The HD 5550 has 16 texture units, 32 Z/Stencil units, and 8 ROP units. Sapphire clocked their card at 550MHz for the core and 800MHz effective for the memory, meaning it has a pixel fill rate of 4.4 Gigapixels a second and a texture fill rate of 8.8 Gigatexels. /second.

Going forward, it is likely that every video card will support DirectX 11 features unless it is on a motherboard or on notebook that is using legacy graphics or a netbook that is using Tegra graphics. DirectX 11 is the latest graphics API from Microsoft. This brought features like Tessellation, DirectCompute, Multi-threading, and more. The HD 5550 supports DirectX 11 features but is meant to compete with DirectX 10.1 cards like the GeForce 310. It should be interesting to see how playing games with this card will pan out.