Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Review: Specification and Benchmarks

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti

The arrival of the new Nvidia 500 series graphics card shook the “gamer’s sweet spot” price-range, and it’s now up to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti to establish itself as the best alternative available. It is the perfect GeForce GTS 450’s replacement. Its goal is to equip gamers with a graphics card that allows them to play at HD resolution. In this article we have discussed all its feature and performance benchmarks.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Overview

The GTX 550 Ti is built on the latest 40 nm GF116 silicon. This includes 192 CUDA cores as well as a 192-bit GDDR5 memory interface. The usual memory quantity is 1 GB, which is distributed across the 192-bit bus utilising memory chips of varying densities. It was a clever design choice to increase memory bandwidth by up to 70% over GTS 450’s 128-bit interface.

The ASUS GTX 550 Ti Direct CU TOP features a proven heat sink design that the company has used on numerous other NVIDIA and AMD products. Clock speeds are boosted out of the box as well, but are not the fastest we’ve seen. When matched to the NVIDIA reference design, the pricing is only $10 higher.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Specifications

The GF116 GPU of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is built on the Fermi architecture of its predecessor, just like the rest of Nvidia’s GeForce 500-series. That is the GeForce GTS 450 1GB’s GF106 architecture in this instance. 

This design effectively had one GPC (Graphics Processing Cluster) with four SMs, which was the GF104 of the GeForce GTX 460 series split in half (Streaming Multiprocessors). Instead of the less efficient (somewhat more tightly packed) design of Nvidia’s high-end GPUs, each SM utilized the more efficient arrangement of 48 stream processors.

With a frequency of 1,026MHz, the 1GB of GDDR5 RAM installed on the card likewise operates more quickly than the GTS 450 (4,104MHz effective). In contrast, the GTS 450 1GB’s memory ran at 900MHz (3.6GHz effective). 

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti memory bandwidth has grown significantly from its predecessor’s 57.7GB/sec to 98.5GB/sec thanks to all these upgrades. The GTX 550 Ti should be able to handle post-processing effects like AA more readily than the GTX 450 because to the additional ROPs and memory capacity.

The less performance-critical components of the GTX 550 Ti also use the same low-leakage transistor as the rest of the GeForce 500-series, in addition to the redesigned and enhanced back-end. As a result, Nvidia was able to increase the GPU’s clock rates. 

The 192 stream processors in the GTX 550 Ti work at 1.8GHz thanks to the GPU core’s 900MHz clock speed, which is 15% faster than the GTS 450’s. We’re also confident that the GTX 550 Ti will have acquired its sibling’s excellent overclocking capability because it is essentially half of the GTX 560 Ti.

Performance and Benchmarks

Dirt 2 performance was good for the Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti. At 1,920 x 1,080 and 1,680 x 1,050 resolutions, the GTX 550 Ti 1GB outperformed. The AMD’s much more costly Radeon HD 6950 2GB (both with 4x AA, as explained above). The GTX 550 Ti was able to play the game properly with a minimum of 40 fps even at the ridiculously high resolution of 2,560 x 1,600.

In Black Ops, the GTX 550 Ti high 900MHz GPU core frequency allowed it to edge out the GTX 460 768MB at 1,680 x 1,050 and 1,920 x 1,080. It was only a 1 fps lead on the minimum frame rate at the earlier resolution. 

However the additional pixels of a Full HD screen provided the GTX 550 Ti a more solid lead. This gives a baseline of 71 fps rather than 63 fps. The GTX 550 Ti outperformed the HD 5770 1GB at all three resolutions.

In Bad Company 2 at 1,680 x 1,050, the GTX 550 Ti delivered a smooth 26 fps minimum frame rate. Meanwhile, the HD 5770 struggled to maintain a choppy average of 18 fps at the same resolution. The GTX 550 Ti couldn’t handle the game at 1,920 x 1,080.

The minimum of 22 fps was too stuttery for us. But you’d have to lose less image quality than if you went with an HD 5770 1GB instead. A total of 15 fps is dreadful. Because AMD cards struggle with AA performance in Bad Company 2, the £200 GTX 560 Ti 1GB led the charts.

Power Consumption and Thermals

The GTX 550 Ti has appropriately low power requirements. It only needs a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector despite the increased clock and improved back-end. Nvidia advises a 400W PSU, although with a maximum TDP of 116W. Nearly every PC manufactured should be able to manage an upgrade to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti.

We’ve long experimented with applying a realistic consistent load to a GPU to get a good sense of its real-world power consumption and heat output. We discovered that synthetic benchmarks like FurMark frequently thrash the GPU. This isn’t realistic of how the GPU will be used during gaming.

It’s such a difficult test that any GPU under evaluation is nearly certain to reach its thermal limit; the point at which the card’s software kicks in, increasing fan speed to keep the GPU within acceptable temperature limits. Similarly, merely leaving a game like Crysis running at a given point isn’t representative of real-world use. And the workload will vary from play to play.

It’s difficult to look at power consumption and thermal figures for the GTX 550 Ti. This is because Nvidia gives partners so much freedom to custom-cool and overclock cards. Because the Zotac actually utilises a basic heat sink beneath that beautiful shroud. These figures are most likely representative of basic GTX 550 Ti 1GB cards. As a result, the mid-level amount of power usage and heat that we saw was acceptable.

Conclusion

If you don’t want to spend much more over £100 then the Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti is a significant upgrade over its predecessor. The GeForce GTS 450 across the board, the GTX 550 Ti 1GB has 10-15% higher frame rates than the GTS 450 1GB. This advantage allows the GTX 550 Ti 1GB to more clearly outperform the Radeon HD 5770 1GB. With which it directly competes on pricing.

The GTX 550 Ti 1GB is the best option for around £100, as the GTS 450 1GB and HD 5770 1GB have dated rather than matured. That’s why we usually advise people to invest a bit more money on their graphics card. Otherwise, you risk having to pay even more money in the future to stay up with the new games they want to play.

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