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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Graphics Card (Palit and Zotac) Review


by Stuart Davidson - 15th March 2011
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Launch Review with Palit and Zotac

Power / Temps / Noise / Overclocking


As the 6900 series and GTX 500 series perform power management in a different way to older cards we have changed the way we test power and temperature levels in recent reviews. For idle power we list the full system use at the wall after sitting at the desktop with no activity for 5 minutes. Load power is the highest reading we saw for the full system when testing during this review. Temperatures are taken in the same way. Noise levels are taken after a period of prolonged gaming in a scenario which applied maximum load to the GPU.

  Zotac GTX 550 Ti Palit GTX 550 Ti Radeon 6850
Idle Power 176w 179w 184w
Load Power 375w 343w 289w
Idle Temp 34°C 36°C 45°C
Load Temp
80°C 75°C 75°C

Looking first to the comparison between our two 550s it is interesting to see that the Zotac card performs better at idle than the Palit model. That said the Palit reverses the situation when gaming, dropping the temperature by a few degress and the custom PCB lowering power use to 343w. That isn't enough to compete with the Radeon system though which doesn't rise above 289w.


Overclocking
Overclocking the GTX 550 Ti is just as simple as any other NVIDIA card. Take your tool of choice and increase the clocks until the maximum level with stability is achieved. From our testing it looks like the limits will be approximately 1050MHZ core, 1060MHz memory.

Here are the scores for 3DMark 11's performance mode with our maximum overclocks applied.

  Stock Maximum OC 3DMark 11
Zotac GTX 550 Ti 1000/1100 1045/1155 P3010
Palit GTX 550 Ti 1000/1100 1040/1165 P3036
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