A video card is not just a video card, as any enthusiast will tell you. There is a hell of a lot that goes into the design and manufacture of these devices, beyond just the chipset that is used. But, for the average joe, there may seem to be little difference between brands and models… other than things like price.
What MSI have done with the N550GTX-Ti M2D1GD5 is produce a video card that is quick, capable and generally friendly on the pocket. In fact, sticking two or more of these cards in your machine in SLi configuration would not break the bank… nor would it disappoint in terms of performance.
Even when a single one of these cards is used, its performance is good. It performs a bit better than expected from a standard N550GTX chipset, thanks to a bit of tweaking done to the card by MSI. The chipset is fairly fast, and the 1GB of GDDR5 RAM on-board does a lot to help the card deliver a smooth performance.
It has also got a number of bells and whistles to help the user along. First off is the Afterburner software, that MSI ships with all of their VGA cards. This overclocking software makes tweaking the card easy and pretty safe, too. Of course, squeezing more power out of any computer component can have undesirable effects, but the Afterburner package is well put together, and allows for the best options to be easily accessed. It also allows for customisable performance for 2D and 3D modes, meaning that the user can keep temperatures down and even use less power when possible. An advanced fan speed controller will further help to keep the card cool.
Speaking of keeping cool, this card has a rather striking housing built over its large heat sink and single fan configuration. Moving away from the boxy look, the red and black housing, with a few nice curves, looks a bit more mature than the run-of-the-mill graphics card. It is also thankfully devoid of images on luscious maidens in chainmail bikinis, or the like.
The card handles overclocking beautifully too, without heavy spikes in noise or temperature. You can squeeze a lot more out of this card if you tweak it just right, and sunning an SLi configuration will deliver excellent results. As with most PC equipment these days, this VGA card makes use of high grade components – Military Grade is the favoured catch-phrase – including solid capacitors and solid state chokes. These deliver less noise, less heat and a better lifespan. They also won’t explode which, as we have pointed out before, is always a boon inside a PC case.
And all of this comes at a really good price tag. In fact, some buyers may be dissuaded by the price, thinking that it is too low for a high quality product. But, quite honestly, this is one of the best deals we have seen when it comes to graphics cards, and heartily recommend it. It might not deliver true top end performance but, for the most part, you will not be disappointed with what it does.
A good card at a great price.
You can buy the graphics card at Amazon and other online retailers.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.