Useful Tips

MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti Review

MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti Review

In today's review, we'll take a look at the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphics card from the renowned MSI company.

The graphics chip is codenamed GF 116 and consists of one GPC (Graphics Processing Cluster) that combines four Streaming multiprocessors (SM).

Each streaming multiprocessor contains 48 CUDA cores and eight texture models for a total of 192 CUDA cores and 32 TMUs.

The main innovation of this video card is the ability to use several memory chips of different sizes (128 and 256 Mb), which in total gives the video card one gigabyte of video memory and a 192-bit bus.

The picture below shows a video card from nVidia, which is made as a reference sample for the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti chip.

But let's not dwell on the reference sample and move on to the MSI GeForse 550 Ti review.


Graphics card model: MSI N550GTX-TI CYCLONE II 1GD5 / OC. There is support for DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0 and OpenGL 4.0, as well as proprietary technologies nVidia CUDA, nVidia PhysX, nVidia SLI, nVidia PureVideo and nVidia 3D Vision.

The frequency of the graphics core is 950 MHz, the shader unit is 1900 MHz and the memory is 1075 (effective 4300 MHz). The video card has 1 Gb memory of GDDR5 type with 192-bit bus width (PCI-E 2.1 x16). There are two DVI-I and one mini-HDMA ports on the rear panel of the connectors for connecting information display sources. The maximum resolution of connected screens via the Dual-link DVI port is up to 2560 by 1600 pixels or 1920 by 1200 via the Single-link DVI port. Via HDMI port up to 1920 x 1080 pixels and via VGA adapter up to 2048 x 1536 pixels. There is support for HDCP and HD video decoding. The maximum allowable temperature of the accelerator is 95 degrees Celsius. The system power supply must be at least 400 W.

The specification shows that the video card has a factory overclocked GPU at 50 MHz and effective memory at 196 MHz.

Appearance and equipment

The video card comes in medium-sized packaging and is made in dark blue colors. The front part shows the cooling system for this video card and it is noted that it is 20% more efficient than that of the reference model. There are also notes about support for nVidia SLI and nVidia PhysX technologies, about 1Gb of GDDR5 memory with DirectX 11 support. There is also a big mark about the use of class II components on the board, which are highly durable and reliable.

By lifting the top cover, you can see a small description of the MSI Afterburner overclocking program and a description of the Military Class II components. Below is a list of medals received for the proprietary video card cooling system.

The part of the box, which is covered by the top cover, has a small plastic window through which you can see the part of the video card inside. Below is a list of the advantages of a video card and mainly about the cooling system.

There is a lot of information on the back. Here you can see the full specification of the video card, a complete list of supported technologies and a short description in many languages ​​of the world. There is also a note here that the power of the power supply must be at least 400 W with a current of 24A on the 12 Volt line.

Along with the graphics accelerator, the box contains a disc with drivers and utilities, a DVI to VGA adapter, a mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter, an adapter from two 4-pin peripheral connectors to one 6-pin connector for powering a video card, as well as instructions for installation and a small booklet.

The delivery set is quite decent and it should be enough in 90% of cases of connecting various information display devices. The only drawback is the absence of an SLI bridge for connecting two video cards for higher performance.

The graphics card looks very stylish. First of all, the large proprietary cooling system CYCLONE II on a black printed circuit board catches the eye.

To connect a video card to SLI mode, the developers have assigned only one connector.

There is only one 6-pin connector on the back of the board to power the video card.

On the front of the graphics accelerator, the manufacturer brought out two DVI-I ports and one mini-HDMI. Also here, just above the ports, there is a small grill in the form of the company logo for exhausting warm air from the case. MSI almost always uses these grilles on all of its graphics cards.

All connectors on the board are covered with special plastic caps in order to avoid dust getting into unused connectors or simply to protect against various kinds of damage.

The printed circuit board of the graphics card is almost completely similar to the printed circuit board of the GeForce GTS 450 graphics card.

MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti

GeForce GTS 450

In the center of the board is the GF116-400-A1 graphics chip, and using the GPU-Z program, you can view all the characteristics of this chip.

The memory of the graphics accelerator is filled with four 128Mb chips and two 256 Mb chips with a total size of 1Gb. The chips are manufactured by HYNIX in GDDR5 standard with a nominal frequency of 5000 MHz.

The cooling system on the video card is installed proprietary called CYCLONE II. The system consists of three aluminum radiators combined with two heat pipes and a 90 mm fan with PWM speed control. Cooling is done using a copper plate that attaches to the graphics chip and conducts heat through tubes to the heatsinks, where a fan cools them. All parts of the radiator are carefully soldered and plated with nickel.

In idle mode, the core and memory frequencies are reduced to 405MHz and 648MHz, heat dissipation and power consumption are reduced. When testing the video card with the FurMark program, the temperature of the graphics accelerator did not exceed 58 degrees Celsius, with an automatic speed of 58%. Such indicators are positive, one might even say excellent. When switching the fan speed to a maximum of 3600 rpm, the temperature was 54 degrees, and the cooler was noticeably noisy. It should be noted that the cooling system works more efficiently in automatic mode and does an excellent job with the task.

Energy consumption this video card in comparison with other well-known models:

MSI GeForce GTX 460 HAWK

MSI GeForce GTS 450 Cyclone

MSI RadeOn HD 5770 HAWK

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 460