Nvidia GTX 550 Ti (MSI vs Palit vs Zotac) Review

By on March 15, 2011
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Too little, too late.

Good: Good performance at 1680x1050, Very quiet across the board
Bad: Priced too high for its performance level, Too slow at 1920x1200
Price: AED 700
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Last year AMD launched their 2nd generation DX11 cards starting from the mainstream segment with the HD 6800 series, moving towards the high-end with the HD 6900 series later on; quite the opposite of how new graphics cards are usually launched. Nvidia, launched with their highest-end GTX 580, followed by the mid-tier GTX 570, the mainstream GTX 560 Ti and now the lower-end GTX 550 Ti. So let’s see how Nvidia stacks against the competition that opened the salvo nearly 5 months ago.

Now the GTX 550 Ti is a straight upgrade from the GTS 450 from the previous generation. As such, the target performance bracket for the GTX 550 Ti is supposed to be 1680×1050 with 4xAA/16xAF. This started ringing warning bells in my head since the direct competitor from the AMD camp for the GTX 550 Ti is undoubtedly the HD 6850 given that both cards sell at the same price point, and latter being no slouch at 1900×1200.

In any case, let’s drop the comparisons for the benchmarks and conclusion; for now we’ll take a look at the card itself. Unfortunately I didn’t have a reference Nvidia card, so you guys will have to make do with the three partner cards that I got for review.

The very basics of the GTX 550 Ti showcases a rather minimalist card, which can also be presented in a single slot format, but dual-slot cooling solutions are the norm nowadays, even for low-end cards. The GTX 550 Ti requires a 400W PSU and takes a single 6-pin power connector.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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