Zotac GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! review

Save your pennies, this isn't the card you're looking for

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Zotac geforce gtx 550 ti amp

The performance offered by the Zotac GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! isn't about to rewrite any of the performance graphics record books.

This is a card aimed squarely at the budget end of the serious gaming market, and as such it wouldn't be expected to.

It's aimed at those looking to hit playable framerates on a 20-inch or 22-inch screen at the default resolution of 1,680 x 1,050.

To a certain degree it fulfils that remit well enough.

If Nvidia's goal was to soundly smash the performance of the GeForce GTS 450 then, it can hold its head up high. The core shader count may be the same, but the added ROPs and faster core speed have paid off to offer a much-needed boast in key titles.

Even so, it still struggles to really impress when it comes to more recent DX11 titles, and this is a concern given the increasing take-up of Microsoft's latest API.

The real problem for the GTX 550 Ti though is something that originally affected the GTS 450, and it's a problem that Nvidia can't easily resolve.

When Nvidia released the GeForce GTS 450 we were impressed with its new affordable chip, particularly when it came to DirectX 10 games. Even so, the close pricing of the GTX 460 made it a tough card to recommend.

That was back when the extra £30 would buy you a card that was notably quicker.

Today you can buy a GTS 450 for just under £90, while the 768MB versions of the GTX 460 can be had for as little as £120, with the full-fat 1GB rolling in at £130.

The basic referenced clocked versions of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti start at £120, with this overclocked rendition muscling in at £129.

That's one or two pounds at most cheaper than the faster 1GB GTX 460, and the best part of a tenner more expensive than the cheapest 768MB models.

And that's a card that actually outperforms the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, even this AMP! edition from Zotac.

It's not necessarily that the GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! is actually a bad card, in many respects it's a perfect entry level gaming card. Unfortunately it simply doesn't make any sense in this market at that price.

Drop the pricing closer to the £100 level and you have a card worthy of serious consideration. As it is though, you're better off grabbing a GeForce GTX 460 while you can.

We Liked

The boost in the core clockspeed has improved the raw performance on offer noticeably; making for smooth framerates recent games at the maximum settings.

It's quiet in operation, and won't put undue demands on your PSU either.

The winder 192-bit memory bus combined with 1GB of GDDR5 as standard ensure that there is enough bandwidth and capacity on offer to keep the GTX 550 Ti relevant for the foreseeable future.

We disliked

The pricing simply doesn't make sense – it's too expensive compared to the GTX 460.

DX11 performance isn't particularly impressive, anyone looking for a serious investment is going to come up wanting.

Final word

A definite improvement over the GTS 450, but too expensive to seriously consider just now.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerNVIDIA
Chipset ModelGTX 550 Ti
Chipset LineGeForce
Chipset SeriesGTX 500
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1600
Brand NameZotac
Standard Memory1 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 2.0
HDCP SupportedYes
Bus Width192 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologySLI
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
Number of DisplayPort Outputs1
Number of DVI Outputs2
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height111.2 mm
Cooler TypeFan Cooler
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Form FactorPlug-in Card
Length188 mm
ManufacturerZOTAC International
Memory Speed4400 MHz
Product ModelZT-50402-10L
Product NameZT-50402-10L GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition Graphics Card
Manufacturer Part NumberZT-50402-10L
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.zotac.com
Marketing Information

Elevate your gaming experience to the next level with the carefully tweaked and tuned ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition graphics card. By supercharging the engine, shader and memory clocks, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition is able to extract every ounce of performance available from the graphics processor to deliver class-dominating performance and clarity.

Package Contents
  • ZT-50402-10L GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition Graphics Card
  • DVI-to-VGA adapter
  • Dual MOLEX to 6-pin PCIe Power Adapter
  • Disc
  • User manual
API SupportedDirectX 11.0, OpenGL 4.1