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Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Review: Bridging The Budget Gap

MSI's N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II

The N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II is 8.25” long, the same size as the reference card. But MSI’s overclocked model is quite a bit taller due to its extra-large Cyclone II cooler, a unit that extends just over an inch higher than the 4 ¼” PCB.

The cooler is the obvious focal point of the card. It has a nickel-plated copper base and two heat pipes that run around its circumference. MSI boasts that its exclusive propeller design achieves 20% more airflow than a conventional blade, and that the Cyclone II keeps the GF116 GPU 23 degrees Celsius cooler than the reference model.

The extra thermal capacity allows for the card’s factory overclock: 950 MHz/1900 MHz core/shader, and 1075 MHz (4300 MT/s effective) memory.

With two dual-link DVI connectors and a single mini-HDMI output on the bezel, the card sports the same options as the reference model.

MSI’s product is bundled with a mini-HDMI-to-HDMI converter, a DVI-to-VGA converter, and a Molex-to-PCIe adapter. There’s also a driver/utility CD, user’s guide pamphlet, and quick user guide poster.

Of course, the CD comes with MSI’s Afterburner overclocking utility, a program it wisely opened up to any hardware (a step that’s helped it become the de-facto overclocking software for graphics cards). Happily, MSI’s N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II is rigged to give the utility control over GPU voltage adjustment, in addition to basic clock speeds.

The N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II has an MSRP of $154.99.

  • 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