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Discussion on Article:
Multimedia Ideal Arrived: ATI Radeon HD 4550 Graphics Adapter Review

Started by: MTX | Date 12/29/08 03:58:46 PM
Comments: 11 | Last Comment:  03/25/09 05:20:15 PM

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I find it a bit strange that you used such old drivers for the Radeon--indeed, ones that were released long before this card was. I wouldn't have too much of a problem with this, except that the focus of this review is clearly media decoding, and it's been my experience that decoding performance varies radically between different releases. For example, for me (with an HD 4850), CPU utilisation is virtually zero (the CPU is little more than idling) when using Catalyst 8.9 to play back VC-1 and H.264 streams, but 8.10 and above do not appear to offload decoding nearly to the same extent, if at all. I certainly think that it would be sensible to run a few tests with Catalyst 8.9 and 8.12 for comparison, as surely performance will have been improved in the full year since 7.12 was released. Or maybe the 7 was just a typo, in which case I still think it is worth investigating release 8.9.
0 0 [Posted by: MTX  | Date: 12/29/08 03:58:46 PM]
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By the way, this comment software truncates messages that contain the percent sign.
0 0 [Posted by: MTX  | Date: 12/29/08 03:59:22 PM]
Thanks for the input. Catalyst 7.x is certainly typo :-)

ATI Radeon HD 4550 came in with custom drivers from ATI and, if I am not mistaken, was not supported by official Catalyst 8.10 and 8.11 (maybe I am wrong about the 8.11).

Video game tests were run using custom drivers.
Media decoding tests of the ATI Radeon HD 4550 were run using Catalyst 8.12 WHQL drivers.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/30/08 08:28:51 AM]

Good article, but the gaming benchmark settings seem incredibly unrealistic. Who would buy this class of card expecting 4x AA or 16x AF performance? The games should have been run at 1280x1024 with no AA or AF - or even 720p resolution which an HTPC machine might be expected to run games at, 1280x720. I bet the 4550 would have pulled some playable numbers at realistic settings, which is what I'd expect from an inexpensive card... I don't think anyone would buy this card to play at 4xAA.
0 0 [Posted by: Cleeve  | Date: 01/05/09 09:09:04 AM]
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The article is aimed to show the difference between various cheap solutions, which it does.

We are working on new performance-measuring methods, though.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 01/11/09 05:12:54 PM]
I would disagree that it shows a meaningful diffrence between cheap solutions when the settings do not reflect what anyone would use for this card.

You could have shown a difference between the solutions without enabling AA and AF on a card that will never be tasked with that in a real-world situation. Nobody is going to buy a 4550 for high-res ultra detail gaming, but it would have actually been useful to see if it could go the distance with minimal settings at 720p.

I would also think that various cheap solutions in the same price range would have been relevant; the 8500 GT, 8600 GT, Radeon 4650, 3650, etc...

I don't think the 4830 or 3870 have much business in a gaming bench against the 4550, but if you're going to put them in there for reference, the lowest common denominator should be the 4550's playable settings... not the 4830's.

Don't get me wrong, you did a good job on the review as a whole; But it just seems like the gaming benchmarks didn't give us any useful information. We already know the 4830 is faster and can use AA; but what we still don't know is whether or not the 4550 is a viable gaming card at basic settings.
0 0 [Posted by: Cleeve  | Date: 01/12/09 08:29:31 AM]
We typically tend to show performance results with high image quality settings. At the end, it does not make a lot of sense to buy a standalone graphics card and keep low quality settings.

We will reconsider some of the methods in the forthcoming articles. But in the case of the Radeon HD 4550 relative performance this article shows that it is much slower compared to the Radeon HD 4670 despite of nearly negligible difference in price.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 01/13/09 11:29:43 AM]
"At the end, it does not make a lot of sense to buy a standalone graphics card and keep low quality settings."

Well, in the case of the 4550, it makes even less sense to run it with AA and AF, because then you can't use it at all!

As far as the 4670, of course it's a better call for gamers. And don't forget the 4650, which is a great option too.

The 4550 probably draws a lot less power than either, which is nice for a cool HTPC machine though... but we still don't know how it can game in a real-world situation.

Can a 4550 game at 720p at basic settings, which are the only ones a person in their right mind would use on this card? We still don't know.

This is my only complaint, otherwise you guys did a good job and a thorough review.
0 0 [Posted by: Cleeve  | Date: 01/13/09 12:34:06 PM]

What about 24 Hz playback? Is it fixed?
0 0 [Posted by: ZORAX  | Date: 01/06/09 01:27:13 PM]
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We have not tested any of our graphics cards on a pure 24p display.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 01/11/09 05:02:53 PM]

Quick questions guys: for the CPU offload tests, does this represent percentage use of one core or total CPU usage? I very seriously that you would give just one core's worth of data, but I was thinking of using a Celeron 440 (single core) on my HTPC box. Thanks for the incredible reviews! Keep it up!
0 0 [Posted by: Sturmen  | Date: 03/25/09 05:20:15 PM]


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