Feeds
70%
Sapphire Radeon X1550

Sapphire Radeon X1550 graphics card

Groovy graphics card and a snip at £45

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Sapphire Radeon X1550

The core runs at 550MHz and uses a 128-bit memory controller to communicate with 256MB of DDR2 memory that operates at an effective speed of 800MHz. We’ve previously tested a Sapphire Radeon X1300XT that used DDR3 memory with a speed of 1375MHz so this X1550 is actually quite conservative, but all is explained when you see the £45 retail price. If we accept that Radeon X1050 has no place inside a current PC, unless you simply want the cheapest possible way to support dual displays, then the X1550 is clearly positioned as the cheapest ‘proper’ ATI graphics card in the market, and it’s £10 cheaper than the GeForce 7300GT.

Before we put them head-to-head let’s take a look at the Sapphire package, which is surprisingly comprehensive. The software consists of PowerDVD 6 (stereo version) and Just Cause, while the bundle of cables is positively generous. There’s a length of s-video cable, a composite-video cable, an s-video to composite adaptor and a splitter cable that supports component-video.

The heatsink is a finned aluminium affair that covers the four memory chips on the face of the card, but it leaves the memory on the back of the card uncovered. It would be unfair to call the fan loud, but it seems to be louder than necessary as it spins rather fast and keeps the X1550 very cool.

We tested the graphics cards on an Asus P5N32-E SLI motherboard with an Intel Core 2 Duo QX6700 processor, 2GB of Corsair memory and a WD740 Raptor hard drive, using Catalyst 7.1 for the ATI cards and Forceware 93.71 for the 7300GT. ATI cards? Yes indeed, because we dug out an Asus EAX1300Pro from the review kit on the shelf, which currently retails for the same £45 as the Sapphire X1550 while, we imagine, stocks last.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.