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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For the purposes of this article, we acquired a trio of retail ready GeForce GTX 550 Ti cards from three of NVIDIA’s premiere board partners, ZOTAC, Asus, and MSI. All three of these cards are factory overclocked and feature custom coolers and PCB designs. As was the case with the GeForce GTX 450, there will be many GeForce GTX 550 Ti cards overclocked right out of the gate, hence the arrival of the cards you see pictured here.


  

  
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition

The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition card is the highest clocked of the cards we’ll be featuring here, yet it is also the smallest. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition card sports a 1GHz GPU clock, with 2GHz shaders, and 1GB of 1100MHz (4400MHz effective) GDDDR5 memory. The output configuration on the card consists of a pair of dual-link DVI outputs, an HDMI output, and a DisplayPort output, although only two outputs can be used simultaneously. Bundled with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition card, we found a few pieces of documentation, a case badge, a DVI to VGA adapter, and a single PCI Express 6-pin power adapter. There was also an obligatory driver / utility CD, which contained copies of some useful apps, like vReveal, Nero Vision Xtra, CoolIris, XBMC, and Kylo.


  

  
MSIN550GTX-Ti Cyclone II

Next up, we have the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II. The N550GTX-Ti’s PCB is about an inch longer than ZOTAC’s card and it is outfitted with a much larger circular cooler, dubbed the Cyclone II. MSI clocks their card at 950MHz for the GPU, 1950MHz for the shaders / CUDA cores, and 1075MHz (4300MHz effective) for the memory. The MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II’s outputs consist of dual, dual-link DVIs and a single mini-HDMI output. Bundled with the card are a typical array of documents, drivers and adapters, although MSI also throws in a mini-HDMI to full-sized HDMI adapter. We should also point out that MSI’s Afterburner overclocking / tweaking utility is included as well, which is arguably one of the better apps of its kind.


  

  
Asus GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP

Finally, we have the Asus GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP edition. The Asus GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP is about the same size as the MSI card, but it sports yet another different PCB design. The “DirectCU” in the card’s model name is a reference to the cooler, which uses copper heat-pipes that make direct contact with the GPU, to enhance cooling performance. This card’s GPU is clocked at 975MHz, with 1950MHz, shaders, and 1026MHz (4104MHz effective) memory. The Asus GTX 550 Ti DirectCU’s outputs consist of an HDMI output, a VGA output, and a dual-link DVI output. And bundled with the card were a quick setup guide, driver / utility CD, and a single PCIe 6-pin power adapter.

All of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti cards you see pictured here require only a single PCIe 6-pin power feed and despite their differences in size and appearance, all three of the coolers used on these cards are nice and quiet. In fact, throughout testing, none of them spun up to the point they were audible over our test PSU and stock Intel Core i7 CPU cooler.

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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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