Several EU e-tailers have listed PNY's take on NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce GTX 550 Ti, well ahead of launch. There are no major surprises from the details we first reported on the GTX 550 Ti earlier. The specifications are remarkably similar to the outgoing GeForce GTS 450 – 192 SP, 32 TMU, 16 ROP, based on GF116, a tuned GF106. The GTX 550 Ti also continues to have 64-bit of the 192-bit in the GF116 chip disabled, for an effective bus width of 128-bit. Where the GTX 550 Ti largely differs from its predecessor, the GTS 450, is in clocks and pricing (and, of course, branding).
The leaked listings confirm the clock speeds. The GTX 550 Ti is clocked at 900 MHz, 15% over the GTS 450. The 1GB GDDR5 is clocked at 4.1 GHz, 13.6% higher than the GTS 450, for a memory bandwidth of 65.5 GB/s. Despite the higher clocks, the power consumption is only 4W more, at 110W. The biggest upset is the pricing – starting at €157 (incl VAT), and expected to be $200 in the US. Of course, these are retail pricings which must be taken with a grain of salt.
Still, compared to the average GTS 450 prices of €100, the GTX 550 Ti commands an excessive premium of over 50% for what appears to be a modest ~15% increase in core/shader and memory clocks. Considering the GTS 450 struggles to keep with the Radeon HD 5770, we are unsure as to how much a 15% boost in clock speed would help in competing with much faster products – Radeon HD 6850 or GTX 460 1GB – which the GTX 550 Ti seems to be priced against.
Of course, we are still 2 weeks away from release, and many things could change. The GTX 550 Ti definitely has potential to find its own niche between the HD 5770 and the HD 6850 / GTX 460 1 GB. However, at first glance, prices like $200 / €160 seem very overpriced for the specifications leaked with the early listings. Unless, NVIDIA have made major changes to the GF116 core (over GF106) and/or the specifications and prices leaked thus far are erroneous.
The listings can be viewed at Fudzilla.