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Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Review: Bridging The Budget Gap

Test Setup And Benchmarks

We’ve included all of the relevant cards in the price range: the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, Radeon HD 5770, and GeForce GTX 460 768 MB. Also present is the GeForce GTS 450, so we can see how far the wider memory interface and higher clocks will take the new model in comparison.

Note that Nvidia didn't seed us with a reference sample for testing, so we’ve lowered the clocks on a factory-overclocked card to represent baseline performance.

Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)Overclocked to 4.0 GHz, 6 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings enabled, Turbo Boost disabled.
MotherboardAsus P8P67 Pro, Intel P67 Chipset
MemoryOCZ PC3-16000, 2 x 2 GB, 1338 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-20-1T
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Graphics CardsNvidia GeForce GTS 450 1 GB783/1566 MHz Core/Shaders, 902 MHz Memory (3608 MHz effective)
Nvidia GeForce GTS 550 Ti 1 GB Reference (simulated)900/1800 MHz Core/Shaders, 1025 MHz Memory (4200 MHz effective)
MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II950/1900 MHz Core/Shaders, 1075 MHz Memory (4300 MHz effective)
Zotac GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition1000/2000 MHz Core/Shaders, 1100 MHz Memory (4400 MHz effective)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 768 MB675/1350 MHz Core/Shaders, 900 MHz Memory (3600 MHz effective)
AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB850 MHz Core, 1200 MHz Memory (4600 MHz effective)
Power SupplyePOWER EP-1200E10-T2 1200W, ATX12V, EPS12V
CPU CoolerCooler Master Hyper TX 2
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverGeForce GTX 550 Ti: 267.59GeForce GTS 450 and GeForce GTX 460: 266.58 WHQL
AMD Catalyst 11.2 WHQL
Games
Crysis 2Multi-player Demo, Gamer Quality setting, No AA, 160 second gameplay, FRAPS
Just Cause 2Medium Quality Settings, Textures High, all options enabled except vsync, No AA / 16xAF, Bokeh filter and GPU water disabled (for Nvidia cards), Concrete Jungle Benchmark
BulletstormHighest Settings, No AA, 60 second sequence, FRAPS
F1 2010Ultra High Settings, No AA, Steam version, in-game benchmark, DX11 Rendering
Aliens Vs. Predator BenchmarkTexture and Shadow quality set to medium, 8x AF, SSAO off, Dx11 tessellation off, Dx11 advanced shadows off, 0x AA
Metro 2033DiectX 11, Medium Detail,  4x AF, tessellation enabled, advanced PhysX disabled.
Lost Planet 2Medium settings, motion blur enabled, built-in benchmark test A
H.A.W.X. 2Highest settings, DirectX 11 tessellation enabled, built-in benchmark
3DMark VantagePerformance Preset, 1680x1050
Unigine HeavenHighest settings, no AA, 16x AF, 1680x1050
  • 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