Review: Nvidia's new midrange on TGT's steroids
The next table shows the aforementioned cards’ clocks:
PoV/TGT GTX 550 Ti "Beast"
PoV/TGT GTX 550 Ti "Ultra Charged"
PoV/TGT GTX 550 Ti "Charged"
Nvidia Geforce GTX 550 Ti
GTX 550 Ti is based on the 40nm GF116 GPU which sports 192 CUDA cores paired up with the 192-bit memory interface and 1GB of GDDR5 memory.
Reference GTX 550 Ti’s performance didn’t quite thrill Nvidia’s partners, nor us for that matter. Thus you could find both reference and overclocked GTX 550 Ti cards on the shelves and priced about the same.
PoV/TGT used Nvidia’s reference dual-slot cooling for its GTX 550 Ti. The cooler has a large round heatsink with an 80mm fan. This type of cooling has proven to be efficient on Nvidia’s cards and it will do a good job on the GTX 550 Ti as well.
The fan uses a 4-pin connector and you can regulate RPM via MSI’s Afterburner or other similar tools.
The card is about 20cm long and looks quite cute. The 6-pin power connector is at the end of the card.
The memory is cooled by air passing through the heatsink.
GTX 550 Ti Beast card has mini-HDMI but a mini HDMI to HDMI adaptor is shipped with the card.
Just one SLI connector means you can daisy-chain two GTX 550 Ti for improved performance.
Motherboard: EVGA 4xSLI
CPU: Core i7 965 XE (Intel EIST and Vdrop enabled)
Memory: 6GB Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24
Harddisk: OCZ Vertex 2 100 GB
Power Supply: CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold 800W
Case: CoolerMaster HAF X
Fan Controler: Kaze Master Pro 5.25"
Operating System: Win7 64-bit
AMD 11.3 CCC
Aliens vs Predator
As far as overclocking, thermals and noise go, we can say that all three parameters are satisfactory. PoV / TGT GTX 550 Ti Beast has 112MHz faster GPU clock and 318MHz (effectively) faster memory. Additional overclock was also good, but we couldn’t expect more given that the card already runs at higher than 1GHz.
Additional overclock increased the GTX 550 Ti Beast’s score by about 5 percent.
Core temperatures didn’t go over 75°C and the fan is pretty quiet.
After our additional overclock, GPU temperature went up by only 2°C and it wasn’t very loud either.
Nvidia Geforce GTX 550 Ti was launched to fill out mainstream Geforce 500 series, i.e. the price range between €120 and €150.
Geforce GTX 550 Ti is not a replacement for Geforce GTS 450, although it’s worth mentioning that the latter’s GPU (GF106) is pin to pin compatible with GF116.
We expected to see GTX 550 Ti cards compete with HD 5770 both in price and performance, but Nvidia decided to launch its GTX 550 Ti with a higher price tag. You can find GTX 550 Ti cards for around €120. Unfortunately, the same goes for HD 6850 which is, unfortunately for Nvidia, faster than GTX 550 Ti.
Almost all partners, PoV/TGT included, overclocked their cards in order to juice them up for the performance fight ahead. We tested a special GTX 550 Ti card dubbed the Beast, and the card comes from Point of View and TGT overclocking team. The Beast’s GPU is up from reference 900MHz to 1013MHz while the memory is up from 1026MHz to 1106MHz.
PoV/TGT did a good job with factory overclocking so GTX 550 Ti Beast will be a faithful servant at 1680x1050, as well as at 1920x1080 with maximum settings in most games.
Still, the Beast is plagued by the same downside like the original – it’s price is simply too high when compared to the competition – the HD 6850. PoV/TGT overclocked GTX 550 Ti cards can be found here.
GTX 550 Ti Beast’s cooling keeps temperatures below 75°C, where the fan is almost inaudible, which is great. Just like the reference card, the card boasts two dual-link DVIs and one mini-HDMI connector.
All in all, GTX 550 Ti Beast is a good graphics card that performs well. However, it must be said that it inherited the main negative trait from the original card, which is the price.