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» Channels :: Graphics Card
Palit Radeon X550V+ 256MB (PCIe)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Friday, 7th October, 2005
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  


Seeing Double

The latest generation of graphics cards from both ATI and NVIDIA is upon us. This is inevitably a signal to both gamers and developers that the bar has been raised. The entry level of these new cards will almost certainly surpass many of the lower mid-range cards, demoting the older cards to the bargains galore. This is good news for both manufacturers and consumers alike; the publicity will attract new customers and upgraders while price conscious buyers can look forward to some good buys. The Radeon X550 is a prime example of a lower range graphics card that is heading for the bargain basement.

Despite using a relatively new 0.11-micron core, it pales in comparison with the next generation Radeon X1300 PRO that we have recently previewed. That is not to say that the Radeon X550 is obsolete technology though. Far from it, the performance of this card still holds its own for most games if you are not that fussy about sacrificing some eye candy for better frame rates. Besides, some vendors have their own ideas on how to revive a GPU – overclocking. Given these circumstances, it is appropriate that today, we have an enhanced, overclocked Radeon X550, the Palit Radeon X550V+ 256MB.

A compact package from Palit for its Radeon X550V+ 256MB.

It was not too long ago that we reviewed a Radeon X550. Equipped with 256MB of DDR2 memory chips and based on the same R370 core, the GeCube Radeon X550 that was reviewed, came overclocked too and gave solid results that easily bettered the reference card. Taiwanese vendor Palit, one of ATI's official AIB partners (and the company behind the XpertVision brandname) has a comparable offering today. In fact, from the size of the frame buffer to the pre-overclocking of the core and memory, the similarities between the two are aplenty. The Palit Radeon X550V+ 256MB has an overclocked core with the same frequency (450MHz) as the GeCube. The 2.8ns rated DDR2 Infineon memory chips on the Palit Radeon X550V+ are overclocked to 756MHz DDR, a respectable leap from the reference frequency of 500MHz DDR. This is also mimicked on the GeCube, but the frequency is 750MHz for that card. Here then is the rest of the technical specifications for the Palit Radeon X550V+ 256MB:

Palit Radeon X550V+ 256MB Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • ATI RADEON X550 Visual Processing Unit (VPU)
  • Stock VPU clock = 450MHz
  • 4 parallel rendering pixel pipelines
  • 2 programmable vertex shader pipelines
  • 128-bit memory interface
  • SMARTSHADER™ 2.0
    • Programmable vertex and pixel shaders
    • Pixel Shaders
      • up to 160 instructions with 128-bit floating point precision
      • Realistic lighting of any kind of surface
      • Varying properties of a material across a surface
      • Accurate modelling of objects with microstructure
      • Horizon mapping
    • Vertex Shaders
      • Supports up to 160 instructions and 16 textures per rendering pass
      • Procedural deformation
      • Fur rendering
      • Advanced keyframe interpolation
      • Shadow volume extrusion
      • Particle systems
      • Many light sources
      • Lens effects
      • Advanced matrix palette skinning
    • Multiple render target support
    • Shadow volume rendering acceleration
    • High precision 10-bit per channel frame buffer support
    • Supports DirectX® 9.0 and the latest version of OpenGL
  • SMOOTHVISION™ 2.1
    • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes
      • Sparse multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sample patterns, and centroid sampling
      • Lossless Color Compression (up to 6: 1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
    • 2x/4x/8x/16x anisotropic filtering modes
      • Up to 128-tap texture filtering
      • (Adaptive algorithm with bi-linear (performance) and tri-linear (quality) options)
  • 3Dc™
    • High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression
    • Works with any two-channel data format
  • HYPER Z™ III
    • 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with early Z test
    • Lossless Z-Buffer compression (up to 24:1)
    • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
  • VIDEOSHADER™
    • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video
    • FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology
    • Noise removal filtering for captured video
  • Dual integrated display controllers
  • MPEG-2 decoding with motion compensation, iDCT and color space conversion
  • All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
  • YPrPb component output
  • Adaptive de-interlacing and frame rate conversion
Graphics Memory
  • 256MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Default Memory clock = 378MHz (756MHz DDR)
RAMDAC
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400MHz DACs
  • Integrated 165MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant and HDCP ready)
I/O Faceplate Connectors
  • 1 x DVI-I connector
  • 1 x mini-DIN connector
  • 1 x analog VGA connector
Drivers & Software
  • Driver support for Windows 98SE / Me / NT / 2000 / XP
Other Information
  • PCI Express x 16 required

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