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MSI GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II

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Posted March 15, 2011 by Jake in Video Cards

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by Jake
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Summary

The simple fact right up front is that the GeForce GTX 550 Ti continues the winning ways of the GTX 500 series cards. The price point of the 550 Ti, however, is far lower than its other siblings, and in fact this new card is really more of a successor to the GTS 450 than anything else despite its moniker.

In terms of performance, we saw the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti certainly improved upon the GTS 450 and beat the Radeon 5770 in just about every facet, and at a nearly identical price this MSI card is the clear winner for gamers looking to purchase a new card for about $155. Keep in mind, too, that the GeForce cards bring CUDA to the table, so if you’re a Folding disciple then that’s another significant advantage here with the 550 Ti. Perhaps even more impressive is the GTX 550 Ti gave the Radeon 6850 a spirited challenge on a couple occasions, impressive for a card well lower on the price range.

As for overclocking, the GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II really flies, to the tune of about 25% on the core. Not only that, but this card runs extremely quiet and maintains low temperatures as well. It’s outstanding for a budget card, really.

So are there any downsides here? Just a couple minor ones, and we’re nitpicking. The power connector is end-mounted rather than side-mounted, and the heatsink shroud is entirely open and will dump the heat into the case, so good internal airflow is key here in order to take advantage of the impressive temperatures.

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti really is an impressive mid-range performance card; it has no current-gen equal at this price point, and packs some respectable horsepower under the hood for what you pay. It does struggle in a few game titles with the image quality settings at maximum, but that’s not surprising for a $155 card. Just drop the antialising or IQ a bit and you’ll be good to go.

When all is said and done, MSI has done an excellent job with the GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II by offering excellent gaming value, low temperatures and noise levels, and a factory overclock to consumers on a modest budget.

MSI GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II

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