|MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone-II OC Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Tuesday, 15 March 2011|
Page 3 of 18
MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC Details
In this section we shall take an in depth look at the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC video card and see what makes it tick.
With the cooler assembly removed we can get a better look at the board, you can't see it too we here but the MSI card builders used way more thermal interface than I would consider necessary. The layout of the capacitors and chokes looks a little disorganised but when you have all to cram all of those components on to a small PCB you can't be picky with layout designs. All in all the PCB looks good with no real waste of space and the soldering quality is of a very high standard as you will see in the close-up shots further down the page.
The back of the PCB is utilised mainly for resistors and the soldering quality is excellent for such tiny components, man loses the war to the machine when it comes to detailed work like this. There are extra pads for more RAM chips but I think any more memory over the current 1GB would be overkill for the GTX550-Ti.
Looking closer now at the Cyclone II cooler (the fan in particular) we see that the edges of the fan blades have a smooth black gloss finish which are set at a slight angle to the blades themselves. MSI claim this design generates 20% more airflow than traditional design and that the airflow covers more area too. Another bold claim by MSI is that this cooler is 23°C cooler than the reference design, but doesn't state whether this difference is measured at idle or under load.
For voltage control MSI have utilized an ON semiconductor NCP5395T: 2/3/4 Phase controller. Below is a snippet from the product description.
"The NCP5395T provides up to a four phase buck solution which combines differential voltage sensing, differential phase current sensing, and adaptive voltage positioning to provide accurately regulated power for both Intel and AMD processors. It also receives power saving command from CPU, and operates in a single phase emulation diode mode to obtain a high efficiency at lightload. Dual edge pulse width modulation combined with precise inductor current sensing provides the fastest initial response to dynamic load events both in power saving and normal modes."
The memory chips MSI have utilised on the N550GTX-Ti are Hynix brand GDDR5 gen2 32ns modules. These chips are rated at 2.5GHz DDR (5GHz effective) at 1.5v.
Finally, controlling the RAM voltage we have a Richtek Technologies RT8101 Memory voltage controller.