Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1 GB

Our score: 2/5
Reviewed: May 5, 2011 11:00 PM
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Published: May 5, 2011 11:00 PM
By Régis Jehl
The GeForce GTX 550 Ti is a mid-range second-generation Fermi card, but can it live up to cards higher up in the range? At £120 it has a lot to prove and it's faced with stiff competition at this price level.

Size, Noise and Heat

The compact GeForce GTX 550 Ti reference card isn't very noisy, whether at idle or hard at work running 3D games.

Power Consumption

In any case, power consumption is more or less equivalent to the next model up, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, drawing 90 watts at idle and 330 watts in 3D load. This is a bit disappointing, especially as the Radeon HD 6850 does a good deal better in load, drawing just 293 watts.

Note: these values are for the test computer as a whole and not the graphics card alone.

Gaming Performance

The GTX 550 disappointed us in video games, where the level of performance doesn't stand up to that of its direct competitor, the Radeon HD 6850 (9% advantage to the Radeon). On a high (1920 x 1200 pixels) or medium (1680 x 1050 pixels) definition screen, things are pretty much the same, with an average performance lower than the older generation GeForce GTX 460.

Tt gtx 550
Average performance.
Click on the image to see all our readings
and compare this model with other graphics cards.

This is especially problematic as at this level of performance as the standard arguments in favour of NVIDIA cards no longer stand up. Activating options such as  3D Vision and PhysX on this model will require you to lower the graphics detail pretty drastically.

NVIDIA has failed to impress us with this model, which is too far behind the excellent GeForce GTX 560 Ti. We really don't see what this model can offer compared with the AMD Radeon HD 6850. NVIDIA will have to price the card very aggressively if it's to attract many customers.

Graphics Cards: Performance Index Tables

2/5 Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1 GB DigitalVersus 2011-05-06 00:00:00

Pros

  • Quiet heatsink (Zotac and PNY)
  • DirectX 11 compatibility
  • Accelerated processing for CUDA compatible applications

Cons

  • Disappointing 3D performance
  • High power consumption in 3D

Conclusion

This is clearly not the best card in the NVIDIA range. We prefer models from the previous generation or those higher up in the current range. At this price level, you'd be better off look to the competition.

OUR SCORE 2/5
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