Just came across this thought, wanted to know what others think about it.
I saw a 2GB GTX550Ti on sale for ~$100 and I remember reading that GTX550Ti SLI can beat a GTX570 by a fair margin for the most part.
Doesn't this seem like a really good deal then? You can get a GPU that has better performance than a GTX570, and has more VRAM than a GTX570, for LESS than a GTX570 (I think they go for $230 on sale now).
Note: GTX550Ti are quite low power and only require 1xPCI-E 6 pin connector from your power supply, so power draw should not be excessive compared to a GTX570 either.
**I guess the only con is that you need an SLI ready motherboard, but in doing so, you have the option to go NVIDIA surround, whereas a single GTX570 lacks. 2GB should be a good amount of VRAM to support it, so that's sounds good.
Would you choose the GTX550Tis? GTX570? or ... HD7850?
There's two major concerns. First, you have to be sure the 2nd PCIe slot is X8 or X16 and not electrically X4. Lots of inexpensives boards are. An X4 slot will drag down the performance of the 1st card. 2nd, low end/ mid range cards suffer big time from micro-stutter when paired up in CF or SLI: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
The problem with 550ti sli is that you are at the end of the road when you need something more powerful later on. You would either have to toss or sell your cards for cheap and buy a new card. Where with a 570 or 7850 you wouldn't need to sli for a while. I would get a 570, or just wait for the 660ti to come out. If you are going to go with 2x 550ti's then you also need to consider heat, and if that is a problem or not.
Thanks for your comments. Nice to hear from others point of view as I am only curious.
If GTX550Ti are as powerful as a GTX570 (btw, I WAS referring to the hardocp review than clutchc linked), then I would think @ $200, it is a good value.
In terms of heat and power draw, I thought the GTX550Ti on its own was quite modest, so having two of them, wouldn't be so bad... but I don't know for sure.
tac134 is right though, there is no upgrade path. But what I'm thinking is that it wouldn't even matter. Realistically, this 'stunt' would only be a viable option if you were on a budget, right? That would mean a budget CPU, (say, an i3 2100). An i3 2100 should be able to handle any single GPU out there, but once you start getting into multi-GPU territory, there is a potential of bottnecking anyway. I don't think an i3 can handle dual GTX570s, but correct me if I'm wrong.
Wow. $200. That's the cheapest I've seen so far for a HD7850.
Can anyone tell me why XFX tends to be the cheapest when it comes to Radeon HD cards? They're such high quality cards, great stylish designs, and great support (not to mention, double life-time warranty). Why would anyone buy another brand?
Personally, I think XFX is THE BEST (EVGA for NVIDIA) and my conversation with a sales rep yesterday proves it ;D
Basically, I had an XFX 5770 and I want to crossfire with another (hypothetically, maybe, probably not... haha.), but I didn't have the CrossfireX bridge to do it. So I e-mailed the them and asked why they didn't include one. The sales rep told me that only the high-end cards (59xx, 69xx, 79xx) come with them... but I could buy one from their store for $10.
At this point, my question was answered as that is what I expected them to say anyway. But just to try my luck, I simply asked whether XFX could overlook it just this one time, as I am a 'loyal XFX customer'... and before you know it, I got a reply saying that he put in the request and I should receive it within the week! All via their support ticket system and less than 30 minutes.
I have two of the 550's in SLI and for the most part they do fairley well with some games. But just one game having a higher fps than the other cards doesn't mean that the two cards are like that in all games.
I have had my cards for over a year now and all strategy games they do very well like in Shogun 2 on the campain maps I get 30 fps and in the battles screens I get 60 to 80 fps and that game is demanding.
But when in BF3 according to my son I get 24 to 30 fps. So I wouldn't recommend them for a GPU very demanding game. If it is CPU then yes you could get on med settings.
But they in my opinion are still one of the worst gaming cards that nVidia has put out. With that being said they work for my needs for now. And someday when I grow up I might spring for a new set of cards.
Good luck to you OP I hope if you get them don't expect them to act like a 570 all the time. Oh by the way I don't have micro stutter with the two cards and mine are EVGA's 1 GB.