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ASUS EAH4550 Radeon HD 4550 Half-Height Videocard Review
ASUS EAH4550 Radeon HD 4550 Half-Height Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Today PCSTATS is testing ATI's latest entry-level videocard for budget PC builders and home theatre enthusiasts; the leaner, lighter, and less expensive RV710 GPU at the heart of the Radeon HD 4550 video card.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Mar 09 2009   Max Page  
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Radeon 4550 GPU and HD Playback Tests

AMD Radeon HD 4550 Technology

The AMD Radeon RV710 graphics processor is directly descended from the RV770 from AMD's flagship Radeon HD 4870 and 4870 X2 graphics card, although much of the original card's complex microarchitecture has been stripped down or removed to make the RV710 GPU much less expensive. While the RV770 launched with a 256-bit memory interface and 800 stream processors, the RV710 has a 64-bit memory interface and only 80 stream processors, which means that while the Radeon 4450 does have entirely new architecture behind it, it's processing power will likely be on par with videocards like the Radeon 3650 and 2600 from last generation.

The RV710 GPU is also DirectX 10.1 and PCI Express 2.0 compliant, although these standards still only exist for the sake of future-proofing cards for later compatibility and haven't been required in any major software or hardware revisions so far.

PCSTATS Benchmark Report Blu-Ray 1080p High Definition Content Playback Tests

With the success of Blue Ray, today's mainstream media center PCs need HD decoding acceleration like never before. Normally PCSTATS runs these HD playback tests in our IGP motherboard reviews, like the ASUS M4A78T-E, but today we'll toss them at the ASUS EAH4550 since it is being sold as a quick and cheap way to bring HDMI into an older media PC system.

Blu-Ray High Definition content demands a lot of PC processing resources during playback, if CPU load becomes too high that can lead to jittery video quality or other artifacts. Many integrated graphics processors now feature Blu-Ray and High Definition H.264, VC1 and M-PEG2 content acceleration decoders to offload this processing from the CPU, freeing up system resources for other tasks.

The PCSTATS Blu-Ray HD content playback test scenario monitors average CPU utilization. Lower CPU utilization values are best, provided video playback remains smooth and stutter free.

How PCSTATS Tests: Each IGP graphics chip or videocard is connected to an ASUS MK241 wide screen 1920x1200 (1080P) resolution LCD display with an HDMI cable.

The Blu-Ray movie "10,000 BC" (VC1 encrypted) is then played back from Chapter 22 on an ASUS BC-1205PT Blu-ray combo drive, using WinDVD Platinum software and the average fluctuation of CPU load recorded.


Core Logic IGP

Blu-Ray Playback
CPU Utilization

Video Playback
@ 1080p Quality

Intel DG45ID (Intel G45) Intel GMA X4500HD 32% - 38% No issues
ASUS P5Q-EM (Intel G45) Intel GMA X4500HD 38% No issues
Biostar Tpower N750 (nVidia nForce 750a) Nforce 750a 18% - 20% No issues
ASUS EAH 4550 Videocard AMD HD 4550 7% - 10% No issues
ASUS M4A78T-E (AMD 790GX) AMD HD 3300 6% - 9% No issues
ASUS M3A78T (AMD 790GX) AMD HD 3300 6% - 9% No issues
Foxconn A7DA-S (AMD 790GX) AMD HD 3300 14% - 24% No issues

The ATI Radeon HD 4550 handles HD decoding just fine so there is no significant load on the CPU during Blu-Ray playback at 1080p.

Hard Drive 720p/1080i Video Playback

Playing high definition content on current generation PCs can bog down even the fastest processors because there is more data to handle. To test the integrated graphics processor's capabilities at HD content accelerating capabilities, we played the High Definition video clip, "The Discoverers" at 720P and 1080i from the hard drive while monitoring the percentage of CPU utilization through Task Manager. Lower CPU utilization is best.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportHDD 720p/1080i Video Playback (Discoverers Video Clip)
720P (Avg): Percent CPU Utilization Ranking
Intel DG45ID (Onboard G45 ) 17
ASUS P5Q-EM (Onboard G45 ) 9
ASUS EAH 4550 Videocard 12
ASUS M4A78T-E (onboard HD 3300 video) 17
ASUS M3A78-T (onboard HD 3300 video) 17
Foxconn A7DA-S (onboard HD 3300 video) 30
ECS A780GM-A (Onboard HD 3200 Video 30

Foxconn A690GM2MA-RS2H (X1250 video)

Biostar Tpower N750 (onboard nF 750a video) 24
Biostar TF8200 A2+ (onboard GF 8200 video) 60
1080i (Avg): Percent CPU Utilization Ranking
Intel DG45ID (Onboard G45 ) 20
ASUS P5Q-EM (Onboard G45 ) 12
ASUS EAH 4550 Videocard 19
ASUS M4A78T-E (onboard HD 3300 video) 20
ASUS M3A78-T (onboard HD 3300 video) 22
Foxconn A7DA-S (onboard HD 3300 video) 49
ECS A780GM-A (Onboard HD 3200 Video 53
Foxconn A690GM2MA-RS2H (X1250 video) 49
Biostar Tpower N750 (onboard nF 750a video) 18
Biostar TF8200 A2+ (onboard GF 8200 video) 64

Again, there's not much system load when playing back HD content from the hard drive. The ASUS EACH 4550 manages to best the HD3300 IGP by a few points in these 720p/1080i playback tests.

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Contents of Article: ASUS EAH4550
 Pg 1.  ASUS EAH4550 Radeon HD 4550 Half-Height Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — Radeon 4550 GPU and HD Playback Tests
 Pg 3.  Overclocking, Test Specs & Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 4.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 5.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 7.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 8.  Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis, FEAR AA/AF

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