NVIDIA added a new $149 video card to its lineup, lets take a look at some reviews to see if this model is worth your money.
Over at AnandTech the reviewer writes that this is a quite underwhelming launch for NVIDIA. The big problem with this card is the price, it costs 36 percent more than AMD's Radeon HD 5770 but you get only 7 percent more performance. For just $10 more you can pick up the Radeon HD 6850 and get 25 percent better performance, and to make matters even worse, NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 460 768MB costs $20 less yet provides 15 percent higher performance the the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti, although this card likely won't be available for much longer.
Meanwhile partners like Zotac are left in a rough spot. At $169 the GTX 550 Ti AMP is now more expensive than the 6850, and it still doesn’t perform as well. The fact that so many partners are doing overclocked cards speaks well of GF116’s overclockability. More significantly it’s quite remarkable that these overclocked GTX 550 Ti’s can get so close to the GTX 460 768MB – a card with a much bigger GPU with many more functional units to work with. With these factory overclocks, the GTX 550 Ti could almost be a decent replacement for the GTX 460 768MB. Pricing is the enemy however – these guys can only lower prices if NVIDIA lets up on the $149 MSRP for the stock clocked GTX 550 Ti.
A similar tale can be read at The Tech Report, they also conclude that the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is hard to recommend at its current price level.
Ultimately, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is a tough product to recommend. Were it offered as a replacement to the GeForce GTS 450 at $129, it'd be a no-brainer for cash-strapped gamers. Who knows—perhaps future price cuts will take it there. Right now, however, those users would be better off setting aside an extra sawbuck or two and moving up the food chain.