Over the past few months we have looked at several Sapphire graphics cards including the Radeon HD 4670, Radeon HD 4850 Toxic, Radeon HD 4870, and Radeon HD 4870 Toxic Vapor-X. All of these cards have performed quite well on Linux with the Catalyst Linux driver and there is even open-source support for these R700 series graphics cards, except that goes without any hardware acceleration at this time. The graphics cards introduced up to this point though haven't exactly been cheap, but ATI has now introduced their low-end graphics cards for the Radeon HD 4000 series. With Sapphire being a key ATI partner, they have of course introduced news models accordingly. What we have our hands on today is the Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 512MB, which is a PCI Express graphics card that retails for a mere $50~60 USD.
- 512MB of 64-bit DDR3 Memory
- 600MHz RV710 Core Clock
- 900MHz Memory Clock
- 80 Stream Processing Units
- 12x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA)
- PCI Express 2.0 Support
- Dual-mode ATI CrossFireX Support
- ATI Avivo HD / Unified Video Decoder 2
- ATI PowerPlay Support
- 7.1 Channel HDMI Audio
With the Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 being a cost affordable graphics card its packaging is not nearly as elaborate as what we are used to seeing from Sapphire on their more expensive products. The box containing this PCI Express 2.0 graphics card was quite small but still colorful and it highlighted the main features of the product. Inside was the Radeon HD 4550 within an ESD bag and separated by a cardboard enclosure from the rest of the contents, but there's no Styrofoam or other safeguards like you'll find on the heavier and more expensive products. Included with the ATI graphics card was a DVI to VGA adapter, DVI to HDMI adapter, analog video adapter, component video adapter, a low-profile expansion slot bracket, Sapphire driver CD, and a quick installation guide. On the driver CD was just the Catalyst drivers for Windows but not Linux.