ASUS GTX550 Ti DirectCU TOP ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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The ASUS GTX550 Ti DirectCU TOP performed terrifically. It achieved some of the highest overclock speeds and lowest temperatures, and even with the fan set to full speed, was not very loud, especially when compared to the cooling designs that use blower motors versus fan impellers like this card employs. With the fan left to auto, I could not discern the card from any other fans in the case. The ASUS Super Alloy Power circuitry seems to do its job well, as I never heard any high-pitched squealing from the chokes that I have heard on other cards from both AMD and NVIDIA. The card is small in size and power requirements, but can still game decently and provides many of the media bells and whistles that the higher end cards offer for significantly less. Users that don't require the highest resolutions with the best graphics but still enjoy gaming could benefit greatly from this card! The stiffening bracket combined with a feature ASUS calls GPU Guard technology (a glue that reinforces the bond of the GPU package to the PCB that doubles the overall strength and helps protect the surrounding PCB from stress damages), along with the highly efficient and well-rated lifespan of the Super Alloy Power components should allow this durable card to last a very long time in any system.
The only cons that I could come up with are that ASUS chose to swap a DVI-I port out for a D-Sub VGA port rather than just include an adapter. Dual monitors can still be used, but the setup requires mixed cables and such. The only other con would be how rough the machining grooves were in the heat sink base, although it still performed terrifically! These points are minor, but worth noting for potential consumers.
Extreme overclocking capability combined with great operating temperatures and quiet noise production make this a great card for home, office, or casual gaming usage. Considering this card is aimed at the AMD Radeon HD 5770 line while being priced between them and the Radeon HD 6850s, customers may have a hard choice due to price vs. performance. Either way, this card is solid, but pricing could make or break it in the market.
- Factory overclocked
- Stiffening bracket
- Great cooling
- Low operational temperatures
- Quiet operation
- Great overclocking capability
- Core voltage adjustable
- High quality SAP components
- GPU Guard and bracket
- Very rough baseplate