In June ATI released the first of their R700 based products, the Radeon 4870 and 4850. Those parts were aimed at mainstream and enthusiast users and our reviews found them to perform very well against their competition from Nvidia. Despite having some good products in the marketplace the 4870 did not quite cater for the hardcore user and so to fill that gap in the market the 4870 X2 was released. This dual GPU monster proved to be the fastest graphics solution available which uses a single PCIe 16x slot, outperforming the GTX 280 in most cases.
Last month, as expected, one of the more cost efficient R700 models made its way onto the market in the shape of the 4670. This particular model far outperformed one of its competitors, the 9500 GT but given its price point was less attractive than the 9600 GT. At this stage things were looking quite good for ATI with some excellent products in the value, mainstream and high end segments of the market but there was one area which has yet to see an R700 based product, the budget range.
Enter today’s review subject, the Radeon HD 4550, which sits nicely between the 3450 and 4650 in ATIs product catalogue and competes directly against the GeForce 9400 GT. In this review we will be comparing those two cards in a selection of the latest games as well as seeing how each fairs in some high definition playback tests.
Does either manufacturer have a killer budget card on their hands?