Sapphire beefs up Radeon HD 5500 range

Graphics card maker Sapphire Technology has added to its mainstream range of ATI-based graphics cards with the introduction of several new models in the HD 5500 series and a new bundle deal with ArcSoft.

The Sapphire HD 5550 family of graphics cards have 320 stream processors and support Microsoft DirectX 11 as well as accelerating applications compatible with ATI Stream.

Sapphire has broadened its range to include several new models with different memory configurations and display output options.

The HD 5500 requires no external power connection, making it a good bet for system upgrades since it may not require a new high-end power supply.

ATI Eyefinity multi-screen technology is supported by models with a DisplayPort output. This technology gives users the ability to work across three monitors as though it were one large monitor.

Other models in the HD 5550 series have the alternative output configuration of DVI, HDMI and VGA, giving a flexible combination of monitor outputs and allowing the use of HDMI-enabled monitors or digital TVs to be directly driven with both video and sound signals over a single HDMI cable. On the HD 5500 series, CrossFireX is supported in software by the driver, and no additional interconnect is required.

Sapphire's 5550 series has been enhanced to be able to simultaneously decode two 1080p HD video streams and to display HD video in high quality with Windows Aero mode enabled. It supports HDMI 1.3a with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 3 is a new generation of media player that uses ATI Stream technology to provide smooth, video playback of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD content as well as upscaling other video material.

A new deal with ArcSoft gives buyers of the HD 5550 series a 50 per cent discount on upgrading to the 'Gold' or 'Platinum' versions from now until August 30th 2010.

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