Catering to those who demand great GPU performance for a modest price, NVIDIA has launched its $130 $150 GeForce GTX 550 Ti. Compared to the GTS 450 which it replaces, the GTX 550 Ti delivers faster performance, a beefier memory bus and what NVIDIA touts as being one of the best performance per watt ratios around.
Although we generally shun automated gaming benchmarks, we do like to run at least one to see how our GPUs scale when used in a ‘timedemo’-type scenario. Futuremark’s 3DMark 11 is without question the best such test on the market, and it’s a joy to use, and watch. The folks at Futuremark are experts in what they do, and they really know how to push that hardware of yours to its limit.
Similar to a real game, 3DMark 11 offers many configuration options, although many (including us) prefer to stick to the profiles which include Performance, and Extreme. Depending on which one you choose, the graphic options are tweaked accordingly, as well as the resolution. As you’d expect, the better the profile, the more intensive the test. The benchmark doesn’t natively support 2560×1600, so to benchmark with that, we choose the Extreme profile and simply change the resolution.
In a head-to-head comparison with NVIDIA’s latest card and the HD 5770 competition, the latter comes out just ahead in 3DMark. Again, the performance differences are rather minor, especially when you bring overclocking into things, as the MSI card proves.