|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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MSI N550GTX-Ti Overclocking
Before I start overclocking I like to get a little bit of information, firstly I like to establish operating temperatures and since we know these are nice and low we can quickly move on. Next I like to know what the voltage and clock limits are, so I fired up the bundled MSI Afterburner utility. I established that vCore was adjustable between 0.825v and 1.15v and clock speeds were limited to 1425MHz max on the GPU (linked Shaders 2850MHz) and 1397.5MHz (5.59GHz effective) maximum frequency for the memory. This is more than enough range to move forward with and I know I can squeeze every last drop of performance out of the GTX550-Ti. My preferred weapons are MSI Afterburner (v2.10) for fine tuning while using FurMark (v1.8.2) to push the GPU.
So there we have it, raising the vCore to 1.15v gave us a rock solid 1.08GHz GPU (linked Shaders 2160MHz) and 1210MHz (4.84GHz effective) overclock (validation here). I was absolutely blown away by the capabilities of the already overclocked MSI GTX550-Ti video card, when we compare to the NVIDIA reference GTX550-Ti we are looking at overclocks of +180MHz for the GPU and +185MHz for the memory. Of course I am also really proud to have surpassed the 1GHz GPU speed milestone. Let's see what difference this overclock makes to our test results.
Armed with a 130MHz GPU overclock (180MHz over reference design) and a 135MHz memory overclock (185MHz over reference design) we went back to the bench and ran through the entire test suite. Overall there is an average 13% increase in scores (at 1920x1080 resolution). We also re ran temperature tests at the overclocked speeds at the same ambient temperature of 22.5°C. The Cyclone II cooler on the MSI N550GTX-Ti OC once again did not fail to please, at idle the GPU sat at 28°C (40% fan speed). Pushing the temperature up with FurMark saw the GPU load temperature rise to 65°C (73% fan speed) and cranking the fan on manual to 100% saw the temperature drop to 63°C.
That's all of the testing over, in the next section I will deliver my final thoughts and conclusion.