Nvidia today launched its new mid-range graphics card dubbed the GTX 550 Ti. We received a special, factory overclocked version made by Gainward, the GTX 550 Ti Golden Sample. The GTX 550 Ti GS card’s GPU is up from reference 900MHz to 1000MHz, whereas the memory runs at 1800MHz.
Gainward did a good job with overclocking and reference cooling but even with all its effort, it didn’t do much to help Nvidia stage a surprise with its GF116 chip. GTX 550 Ti GS’ performance is pretty good and it will provide some nice gaming performance, but the competition is fierce and its price of €140, here, means that it has much to do to prove itself.
GOOD edition cooling keeps temperatures below 74°C, where Golden Sample’s cooler remains almost inaudible. Like reference cards, the GS’ I/O panel features a dual-link DVI connector. However, while the reference card uses mini-HDMI connector, the Golden Sample has a standard sized HDMI one.
Of course, GTX 550 Ti supports DirectX 11 and will consume around 116W in worst case scenarios. The card has 1GB of GDDR5 which judging by the results is enough for the card’s ticker – the GF116 chip.
In conclusion, Gainward’s GTX 550 Ti Golden Sample is a quality graphics card with pretty good performance, but pricing is something that might throw some users off. Having said that, the card will definitely be interesting to those who want a special flavored and silent GTX 550 Ti.
UPDATE: About one week after the original review, we managed to include more cards in our comparison charts. Results clearly say that Gainward GTX 550 Ti golden Sample card is much faster that reference based GTX 550 Ti, on average more than 10%.
Note that many partners slashed pricing last week in order to position the cards better, so Geforce GTX 550 Ti is available already at €122. Our test sample, Gainward’s GTX 550 Ti GS, is still a bit pricier but in return you get a quiet card with a nice punch.