Powercolor RADEON 9550
Powercolor has come a long way from a fringe manufacturer back in the TNT days to one of ATi's larger partners with an entire line of products from the low end all the way to the X800 XT Platinum Edition. While it is exciting to see cutting edge products from the likes of ATI and Nvidia, it is much akin to being excited by the Ferrari Enzo or the Porsche GT2. The simple truth of the matter is while everyone likes the performance and the whiz bang features, the majority of consumers will not swallow the price. High end cards serve as a technological showcase, bragging rights if you will, for their respective companies. Of course they the most religious hardcore following the graphics card scene will still snap them up but more casual gamers tend to go for the middle of the line cards like the 9600 series from ATI or the 5700 series from Nvidia. The big seller though is in the low end region of the market.
It may be surprising to learn that the GeForce4 MX is one of the best selling cards ever and remains a strong seller despite a feature set that was cutting edge back in the days of the GeForce 2 from which it derives a large part of its architecture. Why is the GeForce4 MX so successful? Price. Junk box specials go for around 199$. One step above that is the entry level stuff with a discrete video card which is the segment that the GeForce4 MX services and the same segment that the 9550 is looking to take a stab at.