FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - IntroductionIntroductionToday when we think of graphics cards we tend to think solely of PCI Express, 6800GT and X800XT Platinum Edition. Sometimes we forget about the lower-end of the spectrum, the more affordable cards that can produce the numbers, just not on the overclocker's lists, but are still a great buy none the less.While PCI Express x16 is the next big thing, AGP still populates 99% of all motherboards on the market today, and is still the mainstream graphics interface and probably will be for some time to come. While PCI Express x16 will replace AGP in the near future, AGP has a great role as providing high-end and low-end graphics interfaces.Today we have two of the newest budget cards from ATI and nVidia - the GeForce FX 5500 from nVidia and the Radeon 9550 from ATI. Today we plan to pit these two chipsets against each other and determine what is more worth your value dollar.While this is a good test of the GPU's, it's also a great feat to mention that Gigabyte support both chipsets, despite them directly competing against each other.
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - The Cards - Head to HeadThe CardsNormally in our articles when we directly compare two or more products, we would show each card on its own page. For a change, you will see the two graphics cards side by side in our images. For your reference, the FX 5500 will be explained first and will appear in the left side of the images, the Radeon 9550 will be explained last and on the right side of the images.- Package and Contents
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - The Cards - Head to Head Continued- Cards Compared Continued
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark2001SETest System SetupProcessor: Intel Pentium 4 3.2EE (800MHz FSB) (Supplied by Spectrum Communications)Memory: 2x 256MB OCZ DDR-533 (Supplied by OCZ)Hard Disk: Western Digital 120GB 7200RPM PATA (Supplied by Plus Corporation)Motherboard: ABIT IC7 MAX3 (Supplied by ABIT)Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP1Drivers: nVidia Forceware 56.64 and ATI Catalyst 4.63DMark2001 SE3DMark2001 SE is a part of the popular 3DMark series. By combining DirectX 8.1 support with completely new graphics (including the GeForce4), it continues to provide benchmark results that empower you to make informed hardware assessments.
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - Benchmarks - 3DMark033DMark033DMark03 is the latest instalment in the popular 3DMark series. By combining DirectX 9 support with completely new graphics (including the GeForce FX and ATI Radeon 9800), it continues to provide benchmark results that empower you to make informed hardware assessments.Please Note: Due to recent events with the 3DMark03 series, we are adding results purely for those who are still in favor of 3DMark03. These results should not be taken too seriously and are only added for interest sakes.
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - Benchmarks - Aquamark3Aquamark3Aquamark3 is the latest instalment of the Aquamark benchmark suite. This new benchmark is much more powerful and demands much more from both the system and the graphics card. If there is any weakness in the system or 3D components, Aquamark3 will find them.
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - Benchmarks - Halo PCHalo PC - Combat EvolvedHalo PC is new to us at TweakTown. Though we have used it in a couple of benchmarks in the past, it has now found a permanent place in our Benchmark Suite. This is simply due to its support for the latest DirectX 9 API's to put some more stress on the system to determine the best of the best.
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - Benchmarks - Jedi Knight IIJedi Knight IIJedi Knight II, Jedi Outcast is an OpenGL game that many have been waiting for. It has much improved graphics over its predecessor. It fully supports advanced shaders, as well as very high texture resolutions and effects. There is one demo included in the multi-player section that is good for benchmarking use.
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 2003Unreal Tournament 2003Unreal Tournament 2003 continues the success that Unreal Tournament generated as an online game and benchmark. UT2003 pulls all of its weight on to the 3D and Memory subsystems, pushing graphics reality to the maximum is its game, and you need some serious power to gain playable scores with this game.
FX 5500 vs. Radeon 9550 - Final ThoughtsFinal ThoughtsWell it has definitely been a battle of the titans. While in the value sector, it still shows who is capable of making a graphics card on a budget to kill its rivals.Gigabyte GeForce FX 5500 Final ThoughtsIn all honesty, the GeForce FX 5500 is a graphics card to be avoided - a 5600 performance is better than this card, and is around the same price from some online vendors. Its reduced memory bus to 64-bit does make a huge impact on performance, and with some of the chips in the FX series having a poor overall performance in certain cases, lowering clocks and buses is only asking for disaster.While this is a problem, Gigabyte has put together a good card without flaws and with a modest pack it is one to consider for a HTPC, but that's about it.Gigabyte ATI Radeon 9550 Final ThoughtsThe Radeon 9550 is a perfect replacement for the aging 9200 series. Its overclocking was brilliant, it has a wide enough memory bus to outperform the nVidia equal and at stock speeds requires only passive cooling making for a great silent PC addition.The Gigabyte adoption is that of sheer silence and with a price tag that of the FX 5500, it's hard to go past this card for value desktop or silent computer systems.
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