HIS Radeon HD 5550 1GB GDDR3 Review
The HIS Radeon HD 5550's intended application is for low height Small Form Factor and Home Theater PC computers. Noise is a concern for many in cramped chassis' and this is the HIS' main selling point. Where an integrated Core i3/i5 or AMD 785G/890GX graphics unit may not cut it for everyone, this is the next logical step on the performance ladder without compromising on your new system's size or noise levels. When you factor in the graphics card's AVIVO capability and 7.1 Channel Sound over HDMI, this may sound like the perfect solution for HTPC users.
Our test results may have painted a rather dire picture for the graphics card's performance. Featuring 80 stream processors less than its bigger brother and a narrow 128bit memory interface that is let down by slower GDDR3 memory, the performance of the HD 5550 was truly miles behind the similarly priced 5670. It is safe to establish that gaming is not this graphics card's primary objective and that its imperative not to consider "price:performance" when even considering one.
There is a price to pay for everything. There are very few passive and half height graphics cards that offer performance that's greater than today's Integrated GPUs. Even though the HD 5550 was beaten fair and square by it's bigger brother, lets not lose sight of the fact that almost all games in our testing suite were playable at a resolution of 1920x1200. This is very respectable regardless of what other full height and actively cooled solutions offer for the same money.
All in all, the HD 5550 Silent successfully satisfies a niche that simply needs more of its kind. If you need a quiet and small form factor GPU with some extra grunt, this is it.
- Passive Cooling Solution
- Half Height - Ideal for HTPCs
- Performance is lacking compared to similarly priced offerings