ConclusionOnce again, NVIDIA is having trouble getting to grips with the Radeon 5770 and 5750, which are likely to be renamed as the Radeon HD 6770 and 6750 soon. A heavier architecture and advantages which diminish as you go down the range mean the latest GeForce GPUs are rather toothless when faced with the performance / price ratio you get on certain Radeons. These mid and lower end NVIDIA cards struggle to support 3D Vision and PhysX and it is therefore harder to justify their higher pricing.
With this GeForce GTX 550 Ti, which looked pretty good at first, it’s difficult not to feel that NVIDIA has tried to retain too high a profit margin at the cost of competitiveness, no doubt hoping that the high end aura of a GTX Ti card will help customers swallow the pill. Even if you ignore the ferocious competition from AMD in this segment, the new GeForce gives a lower price/performance ratio than the GeForce GTS 450 and GTX 460, without introducing any other advantages.
Announced at €140, with some versions that could go as low as €130, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is a good deal more expensive than the Radeon HD 5770, which gives a similar level of performance. It also suffers at the hands of the cheaper GeForce GTX 460s, which are a notch above them in terms of performance. If NVIDIA wants to make this GeForce GTX 550 Ti competitive, they’ll need to bring its price down by €20.
As things stand, we can only advise you to look at the GeForce GTX 460 1 GB or a well-priced Radeon HD 6850, both gamer references, or the Radeon HD 5700 if you have a more limited budget. The Radeon HD 5700 will also give you a much better energy yield in load.
Looking at the customised and overclocked cards from NVIDIA’s partners, models such as the Asus GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP, announced at €170, unfortunately suffer even more in comparison with the GeForce GTX 460, which is similarly priced but gives much higher performance.