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Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Review: Bridging The Budget Gap

Power, Temperature, And Noise Benchmarks

Without a reference GeForce GTX 550 Ti card at our disposal, the following benchmarks are limited to our factory-overclocked MSI and Zotac models (we simulated reference GeForce GTX 550 Ti performance in our previous game benchmarks by underclocking these cards). It’s reasonable to expect that a reference GeForce GTX 550 Ti will draw less power (and perhaps generate less heat) than these samples, so keep that in mind:

The Radeon HD 5770 uses surprisingly little power in this test compared to the competition (lower even than the GeForce GTS 450). The MSI and Zotac factory-overclocked cards out-power even the reference GeForce GTX 460 768 MB under a 3DMark 11 load.

MSI’s cooling claims are vindicated here with a mere 32 degree temperature over ambient during a five-minute FurMark stress test. The rest of the cards show approximately the same load temperature, except for the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB, a card that also performs quite coolly.

As we see here, there’s a potential price to be paid for the MSI’s cooling prowess: a relatively loud fan at full load. It should be noted that the result we experienced in the five-minute FurMark stress test did not occur during game benchmarks. Also, the noise reading is taken one inch from the card, so it's precise, but not comparable relative to measurements from the Radeon HD 6990 review, for example. Aside from this, the reference GeForce cards perform quietly at full load.