Video Card: The RADEON 9550

Part of the mission I had this week to was to look for the most cost effective video card that's fast enough to run most games out there. Ok, not DOOM 3 but at least 99% of the other games. Finally settled on a ATi RADEON 9550 based card. Its based on the fact that a 9550 card can be had for USD65+ while at the next level a RADEON 9600 will cost in excess of USD100. I'm not even looking at the SE versions of the two card because they're too much crippled. 9600SE has just 64 bit memory bandwidth while the stock 9600 has the usual 128bit. Apparently according to the benchmarks on the internet, that makes a big difference in the performance. Another reason for the 9550 was that there are some sites that gives you step by step ways to reflash the memory on the card into a faster 9600PRO or even 9600XT card! This increases the clock speed on the core and the card in general. I've not tried this before, but I tried to look for a card with a reasonable cooling system (fan at least) and a fast enough memory chip so that faster clock speed is possible.

At the end I got something from HIS, its called the Excalibur 9550, and even though the receipt mentioned that its an 9550SE, I'm quite sure its a 9550. (128bit memory instead of 64?) And it cost just USD60!