NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Debut: ZOTAC, MSI and Asus - HotHardware

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Debut: ZOTAC, MSI and Asus

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NVIDIA continues to flesh out their GeForce GTX 500 series line-up, this time with a new GPU targeted at more mainstream, budget conscious gamers. The new GeForce GTX 550 Ti which is being introduced today, like the other members of the GeForce GTX 500 series, is based upon a refinement and update to a GeForce 400 series GPU (in this case the GTS 450), but there’s more going on under the hood here than a respin and a new transistor mix. More on that a little later, though.

The new GeForce GTX 550 Ti improves upon the previous-gen GTS 450 in a number of ways, all of which enhance performance, but the GTX 550 targets a price point and performance level below the GTX 460. The branding of this new card is sure to result in a few confused consumers.  We’d expect most people to assume a GTX 550 outperforms a GTX 460 based on the model numbers alone, but as the market clears out of older GeForce 400 series parts, NVIDIA’s line-up will also be more clearly defined.

With that said, let’s move on to some of the particulars and see what makes the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti tick. The reference specifications are posted below, and we’ve got a trio of retail-ready cards on tap from ZOTAC, Asus, and MSI that all offer a little something extra, above and beyond what NVIDIA has outlined in the reference specs...


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Reference Design

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Specifications & Features





NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti GPU, Front and Back

As we’ve mentioned, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti GPU is an update and refinement of the GeForce GTX 450. Both of the GPUs feature a single Graphics Processing Cluster, with 4 SMs (Streaming Multiprocessors), a total of 192 CUDA cores, with 32 texture units. The GeForce GTX 550 Ti, however, sports 24 ROP units to the GTS 450’s 16, 384K of L2 to the GTX 450’s 256K, and an additional memory partition which increases the interface width from 128-bits (GTS 450) to 192-bits (GTX 550 Ti). In addition to offering a wider memory interface, NVIDIA also tweaked the memory controller to allow the use of mixed-density memory chips. In the past, GPUs with 192-bit memory interfaces, like some versions of the GeForce GTX 460, would require oddly sized frame buffers, like 768MB or 1.5GB for example. With the GeForce GTX 550 Ti though, GDDR5 memory chips of different sizes can be mixed which results in more traditional frame buffer configurations, like the 1GB found on the GTX 550 Ti. An updated transistor mix and refinements to the manufacturing process have also allowed NVIDIA to crank up the clock speeds on the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. Whereas the GTS 450 reference specifications called for a 783MHz GPU clock, with 1566MHz shaders, and 902MHz memory, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti reference specifications designate a 900MHz GPU clock, with 1800MHz shaders, and 1026MHz memory.

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Every review of this card I've read has concluded the same thing, not enough performance for this price point. You can get way better cards(gtx 460 or 6850) for 20 dollars more. Hopefully people do some research before they get one of these. It does look like they run a bit cooler and use less power than the 460 and 6850 though.

Has anyone seen the EVGA annoucnement for the GeForce GTX 460 2Win??? It looks ba, I'm excited to see how they price it.

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Drake_McNasty:
I'm excited to see how they price it.

Drake, the 2GB, Dual GTX460, card you're talking about, (EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2Win!) is $429.00 with free shipping at EVGA.

It's about $100.00 less than the cheapest GTX580 is, but has faster performance according to EVGA's marketing team.

EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2Win
Part Number 02G-P3-1387-AR
Core Clock Speed 700MHz
Processing Cores 672
Memory Clock Speed 3600MHz
Memory Bandwidth 230.4GB/sec
Shader Clock Speed 1400MHz
Bus PCI-E 2.0
Interface DVI-I, DVI-I, DVI-I, Mini-HDMI
Product Warranty Limited Lifetime warranty
upon registration
Product Length 11.5in - 292.1mm

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Nvidia did the same thing AMD did with the 6870 and 6850 everyone expected performance to exceed the 5870 and 5850 respectfully but that was not the case.

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What I appreciate the most about all of the work that went into this detailed overview of the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti cards is that readers can see exactly where these card fit in the lineup of what's available and decide.But if it comes down to a minimal difference then the GTX 460 is a better choice.

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Yeah I have agree here. The 460 looks like a much better buy at about the same price.

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bob_on_the_cob:

Yeah I have agree here. The 460 looks like a much better buy at about the same price.

The 460's are proven monster over-clockers. They scale well in SLI too.

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realneil:

bob_on_the_cob:

Yeah I have agree here. The 460 looks like a much better buy at about the same price.

The 460's are proven monster over-clockers. They scale well in SLI too.

They scale amazing in SLI.

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I love new hardware, but as usual the game studios seemingly need to step up as usual. I mean the GPU's available seem beyond by 2 generations now what the software can do. Then especially so in SLI/Crossfire.

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Nice competitor! NVIDIA has a strong hold. This is a good addition to the NVIDIA line up. They needed this card to fill a very needed gap. I have been an NVIDIA fan for a LONG time, but lately ATI has made things interesting, and I am very interested to see how NVIDIA will handle the challenge! COWBOY UP and take the ATI head on NVIDIA!

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