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MSI GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II

Posted March 15, 2011 by Jake in Video Cards







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by Jake
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GF116 and Specifications

The GTX 550 Ti continues to bring the GeForce 500 series forward, and this time down into the mainstream performance market. With an MSRP of $149 for the reference design, the price is lower than any other current-gen card on the market, both from Nvidia and AMD. So Nvidia really is breaking new ground here, going after a potentially lucrative market with no real current competitor to speak of with the GTX 550 Ti.

The GTX 550 Ti can probably be viewed as the successor to the GTS 450, at least in terms of target market and pricing. As a result, the closest competitor, at least on the AMD side of the equation in terms of pricing, is probably the Radeon 5770. However, as a current-gen card, the GTX 550 Ti really stands alone in the market at the $149 price point.

Though the GTX 550 Ti is lower on the performance ladder against the 560 Ti, one obvious similarity that remains is the naming convention. Nvidia has eschewed the previous naming schemes found in the flagship models and continues to keep the "Ti" suffix to the card’s name. It seems to make some sense now, as the "Ti" moniker quickly identifies a card as more "value-oriented" in terms of pricing.

Below is a chart that shows the specifications in the current GeForce GTX lineup as things stand from Nvidia:

The GTX 550 Ti’s GF116 chip drops some horsepower in order to achieve such an impressively low price tag. First, the number of CUDA cores is down to 192 and 24 ROPs. The memory bus is 192 bit as well. However, the core speed gets a bit of a boost from what we’ve seen to 900MHz, retains 1GB of GDDR5, and a big reduction in the TDP down to 116W on a single 6-Pin power connector compared to the 560 Ti.

Below is a GPU-Z image of the MSI GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II that shows the particulars:

As you can see, this MSI card comes with a healthy factory overclock.

Let’s take a closer look at the MSI package.

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