Nvidia launches GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphics card

Nvidia has officially launched its latest graphics card to the world, but if you're looking forward to the dual-GPU GeForce GTX 590 you're going to be disappointed - it's a single-GPU budget card.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti shores up the company's budget offerings, allowing buyers who can't stretch to the higher performance models to buy in to the latest Fermi architecture - and its specifications aren't anything to sniff at, despite the low model number.

Packing 192 CUDA cores into its 900MHz GPU, and shipping with 1GB of GDDR5 on a 192-bit bus, it's no slouch - and thanks to a bit of magic Nvidia picked up from its mobile graphics processors, the reference design manages an impressive 4.1Gb/s memory throughput.

The 116W power draw is fed via a single six-pin PCI Express power connector, and the board supports two-way SLI for dual-GPU goodness - although the cooler takes up two slots, so you'll need to account for the card's width as well as its 8.25-inch length if you're adding it to an existing case.

Nvidia's reference design - which this example board from Afox certainly isn't - includes two dual-link DVI outputs along with a mini HDMI, although at the time of writing it's not yet known if any other of the company's hardware partners will be bucking the trend and customising the layout.

According to Nvidia's internal testing, the GTX 550 Ti offers 20 per cent improved performance per watt, overall 28 per cent increase in performance compared to the previous generation GeForce GTS 450 board - along with the ability to overclock the board to a claimed 1GHz with no additional cooling.

There's no denying that the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is an impressive board, and helps to round out Nvidia's high-end offering with a more budget offering - but only time will tell if the market accepts the board with open arms.