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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2011
Verified Purchase
This was my 2nd attempt at purchasing a Good Video Card for my son's "Excalibur" Desktop that I had just finished building for him for his games, video & Picturing editing, and of course his academic pursuits. The 1st Video Card I brought for my son's Excalibur Rig (A GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6450 1GB DDR3 DVI-I / D-Sub / HDMI Low Profile Graphics Card, GV-R645OC-1GI ) while did well with the 2nd and 3rd requirements the card fell short in the 1st requirement for his games, especially with video intensive games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed which would show seriously lagging durring the more intense action parts of the game. Plus the Windows 7 Index score was almost the same as my wifes ATI 4650HD Video Card in her Desktop which was 5.0 for Windows Aero and 6.3 (out of a possible 7.9) for Gaming Graphics.

So I did some heavy research and decided to look at the EVGA Cards (with the Nvidia chipsets)on what I heard about from thier reputation and see if I could find a serious Gaming Video Card without necessarily breaking the bank. So after looking at the different EVGA Cards between the $100 to $200 dollar range I finally decided to go with this model EVGA Card on the merits of the reviews (which were just over 4 and 1/2 stars at the time of purchase) and made the plung hoping I would not regret it (Like I did with the 1st Video Card)and it turns out I didn't.

While the installation was fairly easy and without incident please be advised of the following...
1. This is no small card, you will need to 2 available pci/pci-e slots available in your tower (Just 1 pci-e 16x slot to plug it in).
2. You need at least a regular size ATX compatible tower (or preferably bigger) to fit this sucker in, No low profile option for this baby. The card measures at Height: 4.376in - 111.15mm by Length: 8.25in - 210mm.
*** Updated 09/24/2012 ***
This card may fit in some Mid ATX Towers, one person commented to me he was able to get this card to fit in his Micro ATX Case, before doing this I would still advise measuring the inside of your Case before purchase (See card measurements above).
3. The Minium power supply required by EVGA is a 400W power supply, I would not go any lower than 500W (My son's PS is 750W Antec Green)
4. Comes with the EVGA Driver/Software Disc with EVGA Precision Tuning Utility (I just downloaded the current drivers from the Nvidia Website), Installtion Booklets, DVI to VGA adapter, and a 6 pin PCI-E Power Cable(My PS had a 6 pin connector available). Insure to plug this in or your Video Card will not work.
5. You will need to either purchase a HDMI to Mini HDMI Connector (Gold Plated HDMI to HDMI Mini cable, 2 M / 6.56 FT) or DVI Cable (Eforcity Black 6 FT / 2 Meter DVI-D M/M Digital /Digital Dual Link Cable for ... seperatly (Go for the HDMI for best picture quality).
6. This card will only display up to 2 monitors unless you brought a second one of these cards (Of course you would need a second PCI-E Slot in your Mother board) or buy one that is specifically made for multiview (more than 2 displays).

All I can say once I installed the Nvidia Drivers was OMG, simple stuff like surfing the internet and moving through the desktop was pure joy. The Windows 7 experience Index was 7.3 for both Windows Aero and gaming grapics (Out of a possible 7.9) All the high resource end games me and my son threw at it not only played great but looked way better than ever before. Here are the following games we tried on it on full 1920 X 1080 with all other Video options set on the highest settings...

High End Resorce Games:
BattleField 3
Star Wars The Force Unleashed - Sith Edition
Star Wars The Force Unleashed 2
Spiderman 3 (Movie tie-in game)

Older End Games:
Battlefield 2

Again, all the games moved swiftly with no lag. No devation from the graphic frame. Both me and my son were stoked. Some of the reviewers complianed that the card made noise but it has been as quiet as a church mouse since installed.

While this card did not cost me say like some of even the higher end cards (These baby's can go anywhere from starting at $250 to $900) it did cost me about 3 times as much as the 1st Video Card (which was about $55, you get what you pay for) at about 170 bones, in the end it was worth it.

Make sure that you register the card at EVGA's website to take full advantage of the 3 year limited warranty.

Overall, An excellent card and look forward to playing some of these games myself. If you are looking for a high end gamers card or a Graphics design Card without necessarily breaking the bank then look no further.

System Specs: My Sons Desktop
Intel Core Dou 2 Quad 2.66ghz socket 775, 6mb cache processor
Intel DP43TF MOBO
8GB of DDR2 800mhz PC6400 RAM
750W Antec PSU
750GB SATA HDD
24bit 5.1 Creative Sound Card
1GB intergrated Intel NIC
EVGA Geforce GTX550Ti 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E (Formely AMD/ATI Radeon HD 6450 PCI-E 1GB) Video Card
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 Bit)
27inch LCD VE276Q ASUS Monitor.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2011
Verified Purchase
The video card was easy to install. Was up and running in just a matter of moments. I already had the current drivers for the card, so the swap was very easy.

The price was quite nice for 2gb of on board video ram. Only thing that I had a problem with was the precision software from EVGA. Really don't see the point. The themes are cumbersome. Over all, great card. Nice upgrade from the gt430.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2011
Verified Purchase
Upgraded to this card about a week ago. Mostly, it's a great card that can play most of your games at max settings without any issues at all. However, this card is not the top of the line available right now. For extremely graphically intense games, you might have to settle for moderate settings. The card will still handle those games just fine, but if you don't want to sacrifice game performance you will probably have to keep the settings at a reasonable level. Overall, a great card for the price. Recommended for people on a budget that still wants a solid card. Cheaper cards just can't handle the load this card can and to get noticeably better performance over this one, you'd have to drop at least another hundred or more.

That being said, I did have a handful of issues but they seem to have cleared up. These are the reasons the card did not get 5 stars. First of all, when playing the game League of Legends (which is not graphically intense at all) I had an issue where my screen froze and at one point even went black for a few seconds. This occurrence only happened once and has since seemingly have been fixed. Second, when playing Portal 2, I had an instance where when there was a lot of gel flowing on the screen, I would get minor flickering. There was only 1 part in the entire game this was apparent that had enough flowing gel to cause the issue. Third, and this was the worst scenario, my screen would randomly go black and my computer would freeze when simply browsing the internet, not even in a game or anything. This happened a total of 4 times, so it wasn't a simple fluke.

Like I said, I believe this issues have been alleviated since they last happened. I uninstalled the drivers, ran a driver sweeper to clean out all previously installed drivers believing there may have been a conflict from something left behind from my old ATI card, did a clean install of the Nvidia drivers and so far so good. I also contacted EVGA's customer support and, to my dismay, was told that there are sometimes conflicting errors in regards to a Motherboard's onboard sound and the built in sound for the video card. Basically, I was told that I may have to go into Device Manager and manually disable the video card sound to keep it from conflicting. Doing this would prevent me from using the HDMI out on the video card, which is one of the selling points for me on the card. However, I currently have both the motherboard and the video card sound enabled and for the past couple of days, everything has been stable.

With so many issues, even 4 stars is a gift. However, in spite of the mishaps that occurred, this card deserves a good rating. It does the job well and has an extremely reasonable price even before the rebate. As long as no further issues crop up, then I believe this card is a bargain. Time will tell and if necessary, I'll update or post another review.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The EVGA GTX 550 Ti is a very good card but it has some pretty serious short comings. It is one version shy of making the recommended graphics card for modern games like BF3 and for good reason. Though for a price difference of about $50-100 it makes a good runner up if you can accommodate it.

The performance of the card is very good, it can run BF3 on high and ultra high settings without so much as dropping a frame but its biggest drawback is that it heats up WAY to fast. Using the high settings on BF3 as a benchmark it gets up to between 58-60º C under the game load of DX11 shaders and high geometry. Under idle loads of windows 7 and the Areo desktop the temps sit between 35-40º C for everyday use, very cool running and spells a long service life if you don't put it under strain but thats not what you, as the consumer, are buying this card for.

The problem with this card is that it is already pushed to the limit out of the box. It's a factory overclocked card that boasts a number of performance bumps compared to earlier versions using the same or similar hardware with more capacity, such as memory and the actual GPU chip.

It comes with an over clocking software but I would highly recommend NOT using it because cranking up the settings will make it run hotter and there by shorten its life span though a benefit of having the OC software installed is that you have access to the fan speed controls which can be adjusted accordingly for your performance and possibly keep it from over heating rite off the bat.

I've managed to play on the card for a few hours at a time on the high settings of BF3 however I need to mention that after a while the card becomes unstable usually at the 60º mark. After about an hour and a half the temps jump from 58º up to 60º and the game crashed in the middle of rounds. After adjusting the resolution to 720p (from 1920x1080) I was able to squeeze a little more stamina out of the card but not much; it still ran hot but did so for about an hour longer before it became unstable and crashed the game.

You could possibly use this card to stave off another big graphics card purchase for a year or two if you are willing to make a side investment into a liquid cooling system; if maintained it could keep the temps down. Other than that it would be a good idea to ditch the stock Air cooler on it for a better after market part, if one is availible, and keep your case very well ventilated during prolonged use.

As some other users have mentioned there are some driver problems with this particular card, one of the popular theories is the conflict between onboard audio and the intigrated audio threw HDMI but I have an diffrent issue entierly which may be due to my motherboard. When windows loads the screen goes black when the drivers change over from the microsoft generic drivers to the card drivers. The screen goes black and stays black but the monitor stays on. Near as I can figure its caused by a refresh issue between my monitor (an HDTV with a generic monitor driver) and the card because the signal goes out of range. I can work around it by unplugging the monitor and plugging it back in but I have to do this every time I start my PC. The issue is pretty serious but I imagine it won't happen to a lot of people because Googling it told me that the issue was somewhat rare, possibly even limited to a few MSI boards. Hopefully Nvidia will update the drivers to fix the issues with onboard and intigrated audio conflicts as well as my black screen issue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2011
Verified Purchase
Just got it today. One day ahead of the expected delivery time even! Got this to replace an SLI setup I had with 2 Nvidia GTS 250s. Noticed the difference as soon as I installed it. 2 GBs of onboard memory as opposed to 1 on my old cards, makes a big difference. I will definitely get another to run SLI with excellent,(I'm sure) results.
This card is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend that you pick one up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2012
The reason I give it one star off is because of some overclocking fails and blue screens and some other problems. Now on to the review.
I was looking for a new upgrade from my 6450 (a pile of poo) to this new card with 2gb GDDR5 memoy!! This was a HUGE upgrade form my old card which is now in the family computer downstairs. and might i add WOW!!! This turned my Meh.. PC in to a High end PC. This card is worth every penny it cost

Pros. This card was easy to install and Very quiet, we got it running from out of the box in less that 30 min, low power, great at running games oh high-ultra (low A-A).

Cons: this card isnt the best overclocker, I can push it up to 1000mhz max(core clock) but anything higher and it will crash, some driver issues at first but just download the latest from the website, when you try to overclock this card it dosent do well like i said before but my card i got from best buy came pre-overclocked.

Some benchmarks: Black ops MAX multiplayer: Avg FPS 58
Skyrim MAX+HD textures MOD: Avg FPS 55
Killing floor MAX: Avg FPS 59

My PC Specs
PC Name: Dell Studio XPS 7100
OS: Win 7 (64 bit)
Cpu: AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz
Ram: 6GB Dell ram (soon to 12 gb)
Video card: EVGA GTX 550 ti 2GB overclocked

Overall this card is worth buying and you will not be letdown by this awesome graphics card!!!

*update* i have had this card in my system for around a month and no major problems!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Yeap!!! ...this little sucker plays diablo 3 with no problems ....and I did not even OC the card ...

I have ..

2500k @ stock (no OC)
16 gigs of ram @1600
Asrock gen3 board z67
750 corsair psu
corsair H60 for cooling my 2500k (yea overkill but my pc is cold ..no hot air coming out of it lol)
windows 7 inside a munchkin 90 gb ssd
game installed on a barracuda Harddrive of 500 gb
inside a 500r case ..(again overkill but it will last me for a couple of rebuilds and long gpu cards)

I may OC just a bit to see what happens ..may upgrade to 660 when available for GW2 ..or 570 ..depends on pricing ..
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2012
Verified Purchase
I installed this on my 3 year old computer. The requirements say that the minimum PSU is 400w which mine is. I was worried that my PSU wouldn't handle it but i was wrong. It works great. I bought my girlfriend one for her computer which only had a 300w PSU. I upgraded her PSU before I installed it to a 500w.

Both work great months after installation. Kinda big and long make sure you measure your slot before you buy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
Verified Purchase
Paired with my I7 Processor and 8gb of ram (which is the minimum for games these days). This card performs very well with Ultra settings on BF3 and my other games. I usually go with cheaper cards and play on medium, but I bought this card and do not regret it. Easy install, no issues. I recommend using this with intels new I7 processor. 60+fps (with highest settings).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2011
I needed an upgrade from my gt 240 so I went with this. Overall 7.2 score in windows which isn't bad. I can play my games more smoothly. Make sure you have enough room in your case and on your motherboard , it took up a great deal of space. Not really a con. Most modern games it keeps up with. I was blown away by its performance. I knew it was the card for me and I bought it and I have no regrets.If your looking for a great card this is it.
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