|MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone-II OC Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Tuesday, 15 March 2011|
Page 18 of 18
Cyclone II OC Final Thoughts
All I can think to say right now is WOW, the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC really blew me away with its excellent cooling and overclocking capabilities. With these clocks it starts to test its bigger brother the GTX 460, not only do we have a video card here that looks good but we have a video card that will run cool and quiet no matter what you throw at it.
Significant improvements would be achieved if the screen resolution were lowered from 1920x1080 to 1280x1024 (standard for 17" to 19" monitor), I would also expect to see higher FPS results if the GTX550-Ti were run in SLI mode. Two of these bad boys in close proximity might warm your case up a bit but nowhere near the temperatures of higher end video cards.
MSI N550GTX-Ti Conclusion
Important: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC Video Card a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar video card that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC is good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.
The graphics performance of the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC is not high end but this card isn't aimed at the high end price bracket. It does however deliver great price to performance out of the box, and then some more when you overclock the hell out of it. The GTX550-Ti sits directly between the GTS450 and GTX460 and just leaves the HD5770 sitting.
The appearance of the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC is, as I'm sure you will agree, very nice indeed. The side view is given extra attention thanks to a really simple metal piece but it makes all the difference once you install the card into your system. There are some that will surely disagree but thanks to the graphic nature of this review you can easily make your mind up for yourself.
Construction is excellent as you would expect from a company with a good reputation like MSI, there was a slight missed spot during the cleaning process but it is nothing major as it only hurts the aesthetics and not the performance. Taking the card to pieces and reconstructing it was a breeze and everything lined up perfectly, the Cyclone II cooler is solid and really adds some girth to the card turning what could be a single slot card into a 2-slot monster.
Functionality is very good, I can't help but keep singing praise for the Cyclone II cooler, it really is so good. The MSI Afterburner and Kombustor utilities are very handy when it comes to overclocking and stress testing your video card.
As of February 2012 the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC video card is retails for $129.99 (Newegg), at this price point it sits directly between the much loved NVIDIA GTX460 and the GTS450. Throughout our tests the three NVIDIA cards tested (GTX550-Ti, GTX460 and GTS450) shared the crown for best price per FPS with no definitive winner. The GTX460 has come down in price recently and still offers the best overall cost/performance. The potential speeds that this card can hit means you get an absolute smoker of a deal.
I have no problems recommending this card to anyone who is in the market for a great budget mid range card. you certainly could do much worse.
+ Cyclone II cooler is excellent
- Hot air from GPU exhausted into case
Final Score: 9.20 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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