The MSI N550GTX-Ti comes not only with the huge Cyclone II heatsink, but is also factory overclocked to 950MHz Core and 4300MHz Memory speeds. The MSI entry comes with all the bells & whistles typical of overclocked MSI cards, namely their “Military Class” components. Thanks to the huge heatsink, the MSI N550GTX-Ti was also one of the coolest cards of all three tested, with load temperatures reaching up to 59°C. The MSI N550GTX-Ti is priced at $189.
Next up is the Palit GTX 550 Ti Overclocked Edition which comes with a rather small looking heatsink on what looks to be closest design to the reference Nvidia PCB compared to the others. The Palit GTX 550 Ti is factory overclocked to 1000Mhz Core and 4400MHz Memory speeds. That’s quite a significant jump from factory speeds, especially considering the heatsink. This is, perhaps, also the reason for the Palit GTX 550 Ti to be reaching temperatures of up to 74°C under load. Not surprisingly the Palit GTX 550 Ti was also the quietest cards of all the three tested. The Palit GTX 550 Ti O/C Edition is priced at $199.
Finally we have the Zotac GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition, which obviously comes with a factory overclock. The default speeds here are also 1000Mhz Core and 4400MHz Memory, similar to the Palit GTX 550 Ti. The heatsink here seems quite large and spread out underneath the medium-sized fan and funky grills. The Zotac GTX 550 Ti was not as quiet at the Palit, but definitely not as loud as the MSI (which was not so loud in the first place). While temperatures did reach up to 77°C, the Zotac was also the highest overclocker of all three cards, with a successful overclock of 1052 Core and 4400MHz Memory speeds. The Zotac GTX 55 Ti is priced at $189.