HIS HD 5550 & 5570 "Silence" Graphics Cards

Graphics Cards
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Power

The power consumption of an add-on video card can be estimated by comparing the total system power draw with and without the card installed. Our results were derived thus:

1. Power consumption of the graphics card at idle - When CPUBurn is run on a system, the video card is not stressed at all, and stays in idle mode. This is true whether the video card is integrated or an add-on PCIe 16X device. Hence, when the power consumption of the base system under CPUBurn is subtracted from the power consumption of the same test with the graphics card installed, we obtain the increase in idle power of the add-on card over the integrated graphics chip (Intel GMA950). (The actual idle power of the add-on card cannot be derived, because the integrated graphics does draw some power — we'd guess no more than a watt or two.)

2. Power consumption of the graphics card under load - The power draw of the system is measured with the add-on video card, with CPUBurn and FurMark running simultaneously. Then the power of the baseline system (with integrated graphics) running just CPUBurn is subtracted. The difference is the load power of the add-on card. (If you want to nitpick, the 1~2W power of the integrated graphics at idle should be added to this number.) Any load on the CPU from FurMark should not skew the results, since the CPU was running at full load in both systems.

Both results are scaled by the efficiency of the power supply (tested here) to obtain a final estimate of the DC power consumption.

Estimated Power Consumption Comparison (DC)
Card
Idle
Load
ATI HD 5450 512MB
6W
7W
Asus EN9400GT Silent 512MB (2)
11W
23W
HIS HD 5550 1GB
9W
27W
PowerColor HD 4650 512MB (2)
15W
28W
ATI HD 5570 1GB
8W
29W
HIS HD 5550 512MB (5)
15W
39W
ATI HD 4670 512MB
3W
40W
HIS HD 5570 512MB (5)
14W
43W
ATI HD 4770 512MB (5)
28W
60W
(2) = DDR2, (5) = GDDR5, otherwise GDDR3

By our estimates, the HIS HD 5550 1GB is the most power efficient of the three cards idling at 9W and using up to 27W on load thanks to the use of GDDR3 memory rather than GDDR5. The HIS HD 5550 and 5570 512MB draw 5-6W more when idle, and an extra 12~16W on load.

Video Playback

Test Results: Video Playback
Test State
Avg.
CPU
HD 5570 512MB
HD 5550 512MB
HD 5550 1GB
Rush Hour
(1080p H.264)
4%
+14W
+14W
+10W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
26~28%
+29W
+31W
+26W
Spaceship
(1080p x264)
2~3%
+11W
+12W
+7W
*compared to idle

As the entire HD 5000 series features the same UVD 2.0 chip, video playback was almost identical between the three cards, with power consumption staying more or less relative to each card's respective idle power draw.

3D Performance

While 3DMark is a completely synthetic benchmark, it is a good general indicator of 3D performance, particularly when the score differences are quite high.

3D Performance: Futuremark Comparison
Graphics
3DMark05
3DMark06
ATI HD 3300 (IGP w/SidePort)
4884
2205
ATI HD 5450 512MB (5)
6231
3435
GeForce G210M (2)
6847
3460
PowerColor HD 4650 512MB (2)
7622
4088
HIS HD 5550 1GB
8383
5467
HIS HD 5550 512MB (5)
8843
6318
ATI HD 5570 1GB
8761
6326
ATI HD 4670 512MB
8962
6341
HIS HD 5570 512MB (5)
9050
6715
(2) = DDR2, (5) = GDDR5, otherwise GDDR3

Thanks to its fast GDDR5 memory, the HD 5550 Silence 512MB scored on par with the GDDR3 equipped HD 5570 and the HD 4670, while the GDDR3/1GB version fell a few hundred points behind. The HD 5570 Silence is slightly faster than the GDDR3 reference version of the 5570. We wouldn't consider any of these to be gaming cards, but if you're on a budget they definitely deliver some nice performance increases over integrated graphics.



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