|MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone-II OC Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Tuesday, 15 March 2011|
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Closer Look: MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC
Let's take a good look at the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC video card. The PCB is 8.5 inches long by 4 inches tall and the cooler shroud hangs over another 1.5" and makes the total height 5.5 inches. Definitely something to consider if space is tight, but I expect most will have no problems.
The MSI Cyclone II cooler is very similar to the previous generation MSI Cyclone cooler, it extends on the NVIDIA reference design cooler and does away with the plastic shroud and exhausts hot air inside your case rather than through the rear PCI bracket. The main upgrade on this cooler unit is the fan itself rather than the heatsink, MSI claim that this new fan provides 20% more airflow and that this airflow also covers more area.
Looking from another angle we can see that this card only requires one 6-pin PCI-E power connector. It is also good to see the VRM section being actively cooled, this is very useful when it comes to overclocking time. Also we can see here that the fan is a 4-pin PWM controlled fan.
From this angle we see only one SLI finger so 2-way SLI is all you will get from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX550-Ti.
For output we have a mini HDMI connector and two DVI-I connectors, bundled with the card you get a mini HDMI to HDMI adapter and a DVI to D-SUB adapter, so as far as connectors go MSI has pretty much covered all the bases here. The top half of the PCI bracket is vented and we have a nice MSI logo cut out, but the design of the cooler exhausts the hot air inside the case rather than out here.
The Cyclone II cooler is 1 inch tall and makes the N550GTX-Ti a dual slot card. I took this shot like this to show you how this card would look when it is installed in your case, MSI have used a feature last seen by myself on the ASUS GTS 450 DirectCU OC video card. If you haven't noticed it already it's the black bar (with MSI logo) running down the spine of the PCB which really adds to the aesthetics of the card when it is installed inside a windowed case.