Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Posted by on Friday, April 1, 2011 - 5:56am

gigabyte gtx 550 tiOur friends at Gigabyte released their first version along with all the other launch partners. Gigabyte did not release their based on the reference model. This card sports an overclock directly from Gigabyte and a custom cooling system. With all this card has going for itself, it just be your next card if you are working with a tighter budget.

Introduction to the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti

The Fermi line is slowly growing for top to bottom. With the big dog currently being the GTX 580, extreme gamers can have their cake and eat it too. The GTX display levels of performance that has never been displayed in a single GPU video card before. But in order to own such a card will set you back at least $470. The series does trickle down to the GTX 560, which at $250 may or maybe be the best band for the buck but does offers good gaming qualities at a lower price point.

 But what if you wallet wants an even lower price point but don’t want to sacrifice performance? Nvidia recently released the GTX 550 Ti which can be had at $150 for a reference model. Sitting at the bottom of the Fermi series the card offers performance that surpass much of what AMD has to offer at the same pricing.

Our friends at Gigabyte released their first version along with all the other launch partners. Gigabyte did not release their based on the reference model. This card sports an overclock directly from Gigabyte and a custom cooling system. With all this card has going for itself, it just be your next card if you are working with a tighter budget.

Gigabyte’s take on the GTX 550 Ti

GV-N550OC-1GI masters the balance of overclocking ability and graphics card stability to provide gamers with a reliable gaming environment. Also, as opposed to the stereotype, GIGABYTE is able to maximize fan size to 10cm with the latest cooling design; this fan also includes a pure copper node inside. With a 10cm fan, the card is virtually silent that its noise level runs from 21.7 dBA to 28 the loudest. With these innovations, GV-N550OC-1GI runs 8.7% cooler than generic GTX 550 Fan sink.


Specifications

Chipset

GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Core Clock

970 MHz

Shader Clock

1940 MHz

Memory Clock

4200MHz

Process Technology

40 nm

Memory Size

1 GB

Memory Bus

192 bit

Card Bus

PCI-E 2.0

Memory Type

GDDR5

DirectX

11

OpenGL

4.1

I/O

HDMI*
DisplayPort* (by adapter)
mini HDMI*1
mini DisplayPort*
DVI-I*2
DVI-D*
D-sub*1 (by adapter)

Digital max resolution

2560 x 1600

Analog max resolution

2048 x 1536

Multi-view

2

Tools

N/A

Card size

H42 mm x L223 mm x W136 mm

Power requirement

Minimum 400W or greater system power supply with one 6-pin external power connector


Closer look

Today, we have on the bench the Gigabyte GTX 550 Ti OC. This is the latest in the line of Fermi chipsets to be released. As you can tell by the naming it is not the fastest card in the line-up not even in the middle but the lowest of the series thus far. That being said does not mean the cards is slow. Reference wise the GTX 550 Ti is clocked at 900MHz on the core clock and 4104 MHz (QDR) when it comes to the memory.

Gigabyte is not one to leave things alone and upped the ante on both the core and memory clocks. Sporting better than decent overclocks of 951MHz and 4356MHz on the core and memory respectfully. And in order to cool these overclocked numbers is a large 92mm cooling fan sitting atop an aluminum heat sink with a copper case.

The way the cooling solution is configured air is forced down over the aluminum heat sink which is good. But that also means that the warm air escapes out into the cage which could be bad. But only if your case is not well ventilated.

To power the card you must supply one 6-pin PCIe power connector which is located on the edge of the card. The GTX 550 Ti is aimed at the moderate gamer but performance can be greatly increased with the additional GTX 550 as this card does support SLI.

The rear panel of the card has two DVI ports and single mini DisplayPort.

Underneath the heat sink is what Gigabyte calls Ultra Durable components. In simple terms this means the card consist of top grade materials like capacitors, resistors and chokes. And just like their motherboards their graphic cards also consists at least 2 ounces of copper.

The memory on the card is Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR T2C.


Test Hardware:
Motherboard:  Gigabyte P67-UD4
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz @ 1.35 voltages
Ram: Patriot Sector 5 1333 4GB Dual Channel (9-9-9-24)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti HDD: Hitachi 1TB
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
Case: Open air
Cooling: Xigmatek Aegir SD128264
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5

Testing Software:
Futuremark 3DMark11: 1280x720, Default
Stalker: Call of Pripkat: Ultra, 1920x1200, 4xAA, Max FPS Recorded
Heaven 2.5: DirectX 11, 1920x1200, 4xAA, 8xAF, Tessellation Normal, Max FPS Recorded
Alien vs. Predator: 1920x1200, 16xAF, Tessellation On, Average FPS Recoded
Street Fighter 4: 8xAA, 16xAF, 1920x1200,
Cinebench: OpenGL
Devil May Cry: DirectX10, 1920x1200, 8xAA, Texture Super High
ARMA 2: 1920x1080, High
Final Fantasy 14: Hyur, 1920x1080
Dirt 2: 1920x1200, 8xAA, Preset High, Average FPS Recorded
Resident Evil 5: DirectX10, 1920x1200, 8xAA
H.A.W.X. 2:  1920x1200, 8xAA, No Tessellation, Maximum FPS Recorded

Drivers:
Windows Seven Ultimate 7 64-bit
ATI Cat 11.2
Nvidia 267.59 WHQL  


Futuremark 3DMark 11
Your PC’s performance is determined by the interactions between different hardware components, the operating system and the type and amount of software running. A benchmark provides a set of performance tests that can be repeated with a high degree of accuracy on a wide range of computer hardware.
3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the graphics performance of gaming PCs.
Designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware running on Windows 7 and Windows Vista the benchmark includes six all new benchmark tests that make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.
After running the tests 3DMark gives your system a score with larger numbers indicating better performance. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

GSC Game World S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
We are glad to present you a special version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Having your PC tested with benchmark you will be able to get detailed information about its performance on various graphical modes and find out how well your system is balanced for gaming and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat in particular.
This benchmark is based on one of the ingame locations – Pripyat . The testing process includes four stages, those utilizing various weather and time of the day settings (day, night, rain, bright sun). In order to test your system thoroughly the benchmark is provided with a number of presets and options including different versions of DirectX (9.0, 10.0, 11), screen resolutions, antialiasing etc, all at your disposal.


Capcom Devil May Cry 4
Long ago the Dark Knight Sparda rebelled against the dark emperor and waged a one-man war to save humanity. Thousands of years later, a religious organization worships this renowned savior and has taken it upon themselves to rid the world of all evil. Residing in Fortuna, this organization is known as the "Order of the Sword," and is made up of an elite group of "Holy Knights." One day, a young knight named Nero witnesses Sparda's legendary son Dante slaughter his fellow warriors. Has the renowned devil hunter turned his back on mankind? What does the encounter mean for these two individuals?

Unigine Heaven 2.5
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.


Capcom Resident Evil 5
Capcom officially announced Resident Evil 5 on July 20, 2005. Jun Takeuchi, the director of Onimusha and producer of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, took over producer duties from Hiroyuki Kobayashi. Keiji Inafune, who served as promotional producer for Resident Evil 2 and executive producer for the PlayStation 2 version of Resident Evil 4, oversaw the project.[26] In February 2007, members of Capcom’s Clover Studio were also called upon to help develop the game.

Capcom Street Fighter 4
All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, added cel-shading to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.


Codemasters Dirt 2
DiRT 2 will feature a roster of contemporary off-road events, taking players to the most diverse and challenging real-world environments. This World Tour will have players competing in aggressive multi-car and intense solo races at extraordinary new locations, from canyon racing and jungle trails to city stadium-based events.
To be powered by the third generation of the EGO™ Engine’s award-winning racing game technology, DiRT 2 will benefit from tuned-up car-handling physics system and new damage engine effects. It will also showcase a spectacular new level of visual fidelity, with cars and tracks twice as detailed as those seen in GRID.
DiRT 2’s garage  houses a best-in-class collection of officially licensed rally cars and off-road vehicles, specifically selected to deliver aggressive and fast paced racing. Covering seven vehicle classes, players will be given the keys to powerful vehicles right from the off. In DiRT 2 the opening drive is the Group N Subaru; essentially making the ultimate car from the original game the starting point in the sequel and the rides just get even more impressive.
In addition to the World Tour, DiRT 2 will come complete with full online functionality that will be core to the overall experience, with head-to-head competitive online play and new social features to engage the racing community. Prepare for mud, gravel, dust and dirt too in DiRT 2, coming 2009.

Square Enix Final Fantasy XiV
FINAL FANTASY XIV takes the first intrepid steps into an unknown realm, and in doing soa new place for adventurers of all creeds to call home is born — Eorzea.
In the world of Hydaelyn, the term Eorzea denotes the geographical region comprised of the continent of ldenard and its surrounding islands, as well as the civilization which spawned there. Calling the area home are several independent city-states,the most notable being Limsa Lominsa, bustling port and pirate hub;Ul’dah, a desert city rich in mineral wealth; Gridania, nested deep within an ageless wood; and Ishgard, bastion atop the mountains.


Sega Alien versus Predator
Aliens vs. Predator is an entirely new title for PC and high-definition consoles from acclaimed British developer Rebellion, the team behind the 1999 original PC gaming classic. Bringing the legendary war between two of science-fiction’s most popular characters to FPS fans, AvP delivers three outstanding single player campaigns and provides untold hours of unique 3-way multiplayer gaming. Experience distinctly new and thrilling first person gameplay as you survive, hunt and prey in the deadly jungles and swamps surrounding the damned colony of Freya’s Prospect.

Maxon Cinebench 11.5
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and Mac OS X). And best of all: It's completely free.


Bohemia ARMA 2
Reinforcements brings two independent factions – British Armed Forces and Private Military Company – onto one DVD. Play it separately in a non-linear campaign or join friends in multiplayer battles with up to 50 players and hundreds of AI units. Find out the sequential dramatic events of Takistan, originally described in Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead.
Deploy a mechanized division of British Armed Forces to reinforce coalition troops battling a large-scale outbreak of guerilla insurgency, or join Private Military Company, recently contracted, to protect a UN weapons inspection team in Takistan

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 plunges fans into an explosive environment where they can become elite aerial soldiers in control of the world's most technologically advanced aircraft. The game will appeal to a wide array of gamers as players will have the chance to control exceptional pilots trained to use cutting edge technology in amazing aerial warfare missions.


Overclocking

We took the simple approach to overclocking the GTX 550 Ti GPU. We did not change the voltage of the video card as some applications will allow us to do today. Nor did we adjust the fan to aid in the cooling of the extra boost giving to the card by overclocking it. We adjust the clock 5MHz at a time until the display and system became unstable and then backed down 1MHz at a time.

The final numbers were pretty decent from a mid-range video card. We hit a wall at 1025MHz for the core clock and 5092MHz (quad). So, we see that the 550 Ti does have decent room for overclocking and get more performance out of it.


Conclusion

The Gigabyte GTX 550 Ti is not going to break any 3DMark overall records but it does do well gaming at better than decent setting. And if you are a media buff the playback ot the GTX is more than suitable.

The advantage the Gigabyte model for GTX 550 Ti comes from the factory overclocked. This is great for those that want to get better performance but do not want to put in the effect.

The GTX 550 Ti from Gigabyte can be found at online retailer like Newegg for $149.99. This is a nice price sweet point for as AMD does not offer much in that price range.

The cooling system of the Gigabyte GTX 550 Ti surprised because the unit was fairly and cooled pretty well. We did not hear a thing from the card at any time of testing.

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