Graphics Cards Guide

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti - Rejuvenating the Mainstream

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti - Rejuvenating the Mainstream



Test Setup

Test Setup

We’ll be evaluating the three cards using our X58 testbed which has the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-975 (3.33GHz)
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard
  • 3 x 1GB DDR3-1333 G.Skill memory in triple channel mode
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

Since we didn’t get a reference card from NVIDIA, we will be downclocking the MSI card to simulate the performance of a reference GeForce GTX 550 Ti. We are interested to see how the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti slots into NVIDIA’s current line-up of Fermi cards. Crucially, how much faster would it be compared to the old GeForce GTS 450 and how would it measure up against the GeForce GTX 460 and also the recently launched GeForce GTX 560 Ti.

Against AMD/ATi, we’ll be comparing the GeForce GTX 550 Ti against their latest mainstream Northern Islands offering, the Radeon HD 6850. We have also included results from their older mainstream Radeon HD 5770 and HD 5750 for comparison.

As for the two custom edition cards, we are expecting them to post significant gains over a reference GeForce GTX 550 Ti. To add, we are expecting the much higher clocked Palit card to come out tops in the speed stakes.

The cards tested and driver versions used:

  • MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II 1GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 266.71)
  • Palit GeForce GTX 550 Ti Sonic 1GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 266.71)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 1GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 266.56)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 266.56)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 266.58)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 10.12)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 11.2)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 11.2)

The list of benchmarks used:

  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  • Futuremark 3DMark 11
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Far Cry 2
  • Warhammer: Dawn of War 2
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • “Heaven" from Unigine v2.1
  •  S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat