Skip to main content

Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Review: Bridging The Budget Gap

Zotac's GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition

With a 7.5”-long PCB, Zotac's factory-overclocked model is surprisingly small (about ¾” smaller than the reference card, in fact). This is a great attribute for folks short on room in their cases. But don’t let its size fool you--this card is quite potent, with a 1 GHz core and a 2 GHz shader clock. That's 100- and 200 MHz faster than reference, respectively. The memory is also pushed past its reference specification at 4400 MT/s effective, overclocked 350 MHz.

We like the card’s visual treatment, emphasizing a black cover and orange honeycomb grating, both staples of the Zotac color scheme. We’ll see if the fan is capable of keeping the highly-clocked card cool in our temperature benchmarks, and if it can do so while generating minimal noise.

Zotac’s AMP! Edition stands apart from the reference card’s mini-HDMI output with full-sized HDMI, plus a full-sized DisplayPort option. The HDMI output is version 1.4-compatible, meaning it supports 3D displays. And it can bitstream lossless HD audio, too. Like the reference card, it also sports a pair of dual-link DVI outputs.

With full-sized HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, this card doesn’t need much in the way of adapters, although a DVI-to-VGA option would be appreciated. It does come with a Molex-to-PCIe adapter for the auxiliary power cable requirement. There’s a driver/utility CD, user's manual, quick installation guide, Zotac case badge, and GeForce-accelerated software pamphlet.

The driver CD contains Zotac’s Firestorm software, the company’s simple but effective overclocking tool. We’re fans of the no-nonsense interface, but voltage control would have been a nice addition for this scalable card.

  • hardcore_gamer
    It consumes more power than the 6850, which is significantly faster.
    Reply
  • Pherule
    192-bit, good move there.
    Reply
  • AMD_pitbull
    So, when is the release date on this? Or is it going to be another paper launch by the green team?
    Reply
  • zooted
    So it consumes more power, and is louder than the 460 768, yet performs just about on par with the 5770? What was the point of this card?
    Reply
  • hardcore_gamer
    The far superior, less power consuming 6850 is available for only $10 more..This card is pointless
    Reply
  • scook9
    zootedSo it consumes more power, and is louder than the 460 768, yet performs just about on par with the 5770? What was the point of this card?To cost a lot clearly lol
    Reply
  • dark_lord69
    "On par with the 4870"
    "The MSRP of the new card is $149"
    Well.. in that case I'll stick with my 4870 that I bought for $80.
    Reply
  • sithtis
    zootedSo it consumes more power, and is louder than the 460 768, yet performs just about on par with the 5770? What was the point of this card?
    God i was thinking exactly the same... whats the point of that. a 460 768 cost around 140 and less noise less power better performance... i really really dont get it?

    6850 or 460 768 are the cards to get... here in Canada you can get a 5770 for less than 100$
    Reply
  • K2N hater
    @Don

    How about the minimal FPS? Any substantial change on FPS once all eye-candy settings are enabled?
    Reply
  • cleeve
    K2N hater@DonHow about the minimal FPS? Any substantial change on FPS once all eye-candy settings are enabled?
    Minimum FPS readings should be there for most of the games we've benched.

    As for adding eye-candy settings, not sure that makes sense for this class of card as it might push FPS down to unpleasant levels.
    Reply