Before I even start, I have to say that I'm having flash backs to late last year where ATI had the market completely dominated and NVIDIA released boring models like the GT 240 which while capable cards, were none the less boring.
Now you turn the clock around and NVIDIA are just covering review sites around the world with video card reviews. There's no denying that the GTX 460 is stretching out its 15 minutes of fame and let's be honest, it's well deserved.
The last few months have brought with them bugger all ATI samples which in turn has brought no real ATI coverage. Here at TweakTown the last ATI card we looked at was a very boring HD 5670 in June. The last time we really got excited about some ATI cards was back in May.
The problem is that I don't think it's really going to change today as we look at the HD 5550 which is a model ATI have decided to slap some GDDR5 on to. Already recognized as a low end card, we really wonder if the inclusion of this memory is going to make a difference.
Is the HD 5550 with its GDDR5 a model that can stand out on its own and get attention in its own right, or is it simply a way to make sure that there's a little bit of red amongst the sea of green that's currently happening? - There's only one way to find out.
Since we're dealing with a reference card, there's nothing in the way of packaging. Instead we've just got the card all on its lonesome. Really, there's not a whole lot to look at; the cooler itself is a dual slot one and to be honest, it looks quite nice and of decent quality.
As for the rest of the card, we've got no power connector which doesn't come as a surprise since it's a lower end model. We do still have our two CrossFire connectors, though.
Connectivity comes in the shape of a Dual-Link DVI connector, HDMI and DisplayPort which will give you the ability to run Eyefinity.
The specification front as you would expect is a little boring, because again we're dealing with a lower end model. We've got a 550MHz core while the memory comes in at 4GHz QDR on a 128-bit memory bus.