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

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The GeForce GTX 550 Ti’s performance fell right in-line with expectations. Throughout our battery of tests, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, whether running at reference frequencies or overclocked from the factory like our ZOTAC, Asus, and MSI cards, clearly outpaced the GeForce GTS 450. The GeForce GTX 550 Ti could not keep pace with the GeForce GTX 460, however. The performance of all of the GTX 550 Ti cards we tested also scaled as expected. The highest clocked card, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition led the pack, followed by Asus’ offering and them MSI’s. Although, MSI’s higher-clocked memory versus the Asus card gave it an edge in a couple of tests, like AvP.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Reference Card

The new GeForce GTX 550 Ti is a clear step-up over the GeForce GTS 450 it is meant to supplant in NVIDIA’s current GPU line-up. In terms of performance and power efficiency, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is simply superior than the GTS 450. However, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is set to debut at a slightly higher price point then the GTS 450 did. Reference GTX 550 Ti cards should be priced right around the $149 mark with overclocked cards coming in slightly higher in the $155 to $165 range. GeForce GTX 460 cards and Radeon HD 6850 cards are available now with very similar, albeit slightly higher prices, but factor in a number of mail in rebates currently available and the price disparities virtually disappear. As the benchmarks have shown, the additional $10 to $25 investment is well worth it for the higher performance offered by GTX 460 and 6850.

GeForce GTX 460 cards aren’t likely to remain on the market for much longer though, now that the GeForce GTX 560 Ti has hit the scene. And we expect the GeForce GTX 550 Ti’s street prices to quickly fall in light of competing offerings. If you’re in the market for an affordable, quiet, DirectX 11 class card, and are on a very strict budget, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is worth checking out. If you can scrounge up a few more bucks though, there’s lots of additional performance to be had for a marginal additional investment.

We suspect the full story on the GeForce GTX 550 Ti isn't completely clear, just yet. In a few more weeks, once GTX 460 supplies have dwindled, GTX 550 Ti availability has peaked, Radeon HD 6850 pricing has settled, and we can see where the street prices for everything fall, we'll have a better understanding of the landscape. Its MSRP currently puts the GeForce GTX 550 Ti in the same range as better performing products. But it's clearly a better card than the popular GTS 450 and with lower street prices, it's going to be more attractive to budget conscious gamers.

  • Cool and Quiet Operation
  • PhysX and CUDA Support
  • Affordable DX11 Card


  • Questionable Naming
  • Higher Performing Cards Available for Minimal Extra Investment


Related content