Date: August 2nd, 2010
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: HIS
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Let's take a virtual walk around Sapphire's ultimate version of the ATI Radeon HD 5550.
First off we start at this videocard's VPU. Sapphire's use of the 40nm manufactured Redwood core is stock clocked at 650Mhz core, 1000Mhz DDR5 memory which is bandwidth capable of 64.0Gb/sec memory transfer. This coupled with the VPU's 400 unified shaders is capable of 10.4GPixels/sec and 26.0 GTexels/s while only drawing 165 watts during maximum load thanks to the lack of power needed to push an onboard fan.
Unlike Sapphire's passive cooler HD55xx series videocard I reviewed HERE, this HIS version uses a normal, but large passive heatsink on the VPU to extract and remove heat from the onboard processor. There is no use of heatpipes which is getting more common today and instead it uses and old school heatsink-on-top of VPU configuration. And to be honest, this cooler works very well for this intended purpose seeing during full load, the processor is still being kept at slightly below 60c during maximum stability testing using FurMark.
Although the VPU is cooled well, the GDDR5 memory has no cooling at all and in most cases on this card, it is covered which does hinder the ability of cooler case airflow to keep them cool. Through testing I will see if this oversight will affect the overclock which you will see in the upcoming pages and benchmarking.
The back of the card is completely void of any obstruction to interfere with any sort of upper motherboard components and facilitated an easy install. As you can see, this cooling solution was securely held in place with 4 screws and insures that there won't be anyway that this cooler will be separating away from any of the components it is cooling even during rough handling.
Last but not least in this section is the main connection panel. You have three choices which consist of one DVI, one DisplayPort and one HDMI video connection. With this type of selection, you can see that this videocard has its sights set precisely on the consumer HTPC market. Everyone building and HTPC knows that they want the quietest computer possible in order to enjoy their movies without having to compensate for any sort of fan noise.