One month after the release of GeForce GTX 560 Ti, NVIDIA aimed mainstream users (sub-$200 market) with GeForce GTX 550 Ti. This is the market segment where most amount of money is made by the vendors as most amount of gamers fall in this segment. With all other facts, this market segment is also the most saturated segment with lots of options to choose from. That’s why conquering sub-$200 dollar market is a huge task.
GeForce GTX 550 Ti, priced at $159, falls right in this segment. Most of the cards in this segment are from previous generation of graphics cards, both by NVIDIA and AMD, including GeForce GTS 450, Radeon HD 6790, GeForce GTX 460 768 MB, GeForce GTX 460 1 GB and Radeon HD 6850. Now, we have to see how GeForce GTX 550 Ti fairs against its opponents and predecessors.
Based on 40 nm GF 116, it is actually a revised version of GeForce GTS 450 which was based on GF 106. NVIDIA rigged up the GeForce GTX 550 Ti with 192 shader units, 24 ROPs, 192-bit GDDR5 memory interface. Reference design of GeForce GTX 550 Ti features 1 GB with the help of variable densities memory chips as compared to 768 MB on GeForce GTS 450. With this new design, it offers 70% improvement in memory bandwidth compared to its predecessor. With all other things, clocks are also increased as compared to GeForce GTS 450. Core clock is bumped up to 900 MHz and memory clock is at 1026 MHz.
The card we have with us today, SPARKLE GTX 550 Ti, is based on reference NVIDIA PCB and has reference clocks. The only difference is shroud. The heat sink under the shroud is exactly same as reference design.