Invidia Geforce GTX 550 Ti: Bridging The Budget Gap

The GeForce GTS 450 and GTX 460 768 MB are far apart in Nvidia’s product line. GeForce GTX 550 Ti, a new card, fills the gap. Can it compete with AMD’s Radeon HD 5770? 

After being impressed with the AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB dual-GPU beast, it’s easy to get caught up in ultra-high-end gear. You’ll find the most bizarre and desirable stuff there. Low-end cards sell the most and boost a company’s bottom line. Not everyone has a high-resolution screen or wants to spend £200 on Shogun 2: Total War with maximum visuals.

Thus, GPUs like Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB are essential to capture the lucrative low-end market by giving a halfway-capable GPU for £100. The Radeon HD 5770 1GB is still strong 18 months after its introduction. For the second time in seven months, Nvidia has targeted the low-end, following the GeForce GTS 450 1GB’s lukewarm reception last September. At the time, the GeForce GTX 460 768MB’s inexpensive price made Nvidia and AMD’s cheaper cards look bad. GTS 450 1GB cards cost £80–£95, while GTX 460 768MB cards cost £95–£120. With an expected price of £100 and a top merchant expecting basic to premium GTX 550 Ti 1GB cards to cost between £90 and £125, Nvidia’s competitors are apparent.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Specs

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti

GPU Model Ti
CUDA Cores 192Core Clock
Core Clock 900 MHz
Shader Clock 1800 MHz
Memory 1 GB
Memory Clock 1025 1025 MHz
Resolution 2560 x 1600
Power Consumption 6-pin PCIe

What Is In The Box?

  1. Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Graphics Card: The main graphics processor and renderer.
  2. User Manual: Graphics card installation and use instructions.
  3. Driver CD or Download: Graphics card drivers. Modern users can obtain the newest drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
  4. Adapters: Power adapters may be supplied to connect the graphics card to the power supply unit, depending on its power needs.
  5. Installation Kit: Hardware for mounting the graphics card to the computer chassis.

GPU Quality

Since competition is fierce in this profitable mainstream industry, we wanted to evaluate if these modifications would be adequate. The GTX 550 Ti costs £112 inc VAT, the award-winning GTX 460 768MB costs £15 extra, and the vanilla GTS 450 costs £90. Since this new card lies between the two, we wanted to examine how those clock modifications affected it. Results varied. In our 1,920 x 1,080 High-quality Crysis benchmark, the GTX 550 Ti scored 39fps, 6fps faster than the lesser GTS 450. In Very High quality, it dipped to 23fps. This is 4fps slower than the GTX 460. Thus, performance is average.

Thermal Checking

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti

It has excellent overclocking headroom, but we doubt its efficiency. Only 2fps was gained in our Very High-grade Crysis testing on a Zotac model with 1,000MHz and 2,000MHz core and shader speeds. The heavy overclock increased Just Cause 2’s 33fps average in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High-resolution test (with 8x anti-aliasing) to 36fps.

Our heat measurements showed minimal difference between the GTX 550 Ti and GTX 460. The newer card drew 107W from our idle test setup and 271W when stress-tested, compared to 127W and 273W from the GTX 460. However, the GTX 460 distributes heat better, peaking at 68 degrees compared to 82 degrees for the GTX 550 Ti. Both cards feature one six-pin power connector and fit in most cases. Both include double-height coolers since the GPUs may be too powerful for a single heatsink.

Invidia Geforce Gtx 550 Ti Prices

The costs are similar. Thus, your budget determines the purchase. If money is limited, go for the GTX 550 Ti, a decent performance at a fair price after a little tweak and rebranding. However, every £10 spent at this level offers you more fps on the current games, so we’d recommend the GTX 460 unless you’re fighting your finance manager.

Comparing Invidia Geforce Gtx 550 Ti With Others

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti

First off, Nvidia acknowledged that the “GeForce GTX 460 SE & 768 MB are transitioning out of our primary channel lineup.” GTX 550 Ti is being developed as the sole bridge between GTS 450 and GTX 460 1 GB. The business added that “end market availability through e-tail can sometimes be found for months after such a transition.” This suggests that the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB availability will rely on how soon the market embraces the GTX 550 Ti.

The new model and the outgoing GeForce GTX 460 768 MB have identical render back-ends with 192-bit memory interfaces and 24 ROPs. However, similarities cease there. A 50% more powerful GF104 GPU in the GeForce GTX 460 has 336 shader cores and 56 texture units than the GTX 550 Ti’s 192 cores and 32 texture units. Higher clock speeds on the new card reduce this disparity. However, we expect the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB to beat it significantly.

In contrast, the GeForce GTS 450 has the same shader core and texture unit count as the new card. However, its 128-bit memory interface has one-third less bandwidth and 120 MHz lower core and memory clocks. Those results show the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti will be much quicker, as Nvidia claims.

The main question is: how does the GeForce GTX 550 Ti compare to Radeon HD 5770? The 192-bit memory interface should provide a large bandwidth advantage over the 128-bit Radeon. Still, we assume shader core power stays equivalent (for those startled by the difference in amount, GeForce shader cores are not 1:1. Although bandwidth-limited conditions may give the GeForce an edge (such as when AA is activated), we expect it to perform comparably.

Good Release Time Performance Ageing Architecture
Cheap Entry-Level Graphics Missing Modern Features
Design for Power Efficiency

Should I Get GeForce GTX 550 Ti?

has an excellent product. However, the Nvidia GPU isn’t appealing. All brands have this problem, owing to Nvidia’s ridiculous name. New models usually perform equally or better than the preceding generation’s next-up model. The GTX 550 does not match the GTX 460 in performance. The GTX 550’s 192-bit bus width cripples it, although it uses 2/3 the power of the GTX 460.


  1. What are NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti’s main specs?

In March 2011, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti had 192 CUDA cores, 900 MHz core frequency, and 1 GB GDDR5 memory with a 192-bit memory bus. At launch, it supported DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.5 for mid-range gaming. The card has HDMI, DVI, and VGA outputs.

  1. Does the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti work for current gaming?

Despite its affordable price, the GTX 550 Ti may struggle with recent AAA titles because of its older architecture and insufficient VRAM. Its lack of ray tracing and DLSS limits its compatibility with modern games. Modern gamers should select graphics cards with better performance and functionality.

  1. Which NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti restrictions are notable?

The GTX 550 Ti has significant drawbacks despite its cost and fit for budget gaming systems. SLI functionality is missing, and its 1 GB VRAM may limit multi-GPU installations for recent titles. This outdated GPU does not support ray tracing or AI-based capabilities, determining its compatibility with current games.