ASUS GTX 550 Ti Ultimate / EVGA GTX 560 Ti FPB
ASUS GTX 550 Ti Ultimate
After a long hiatus, ASUS has finally seen fit to reintroduce their Ultimate series of graphics cards. Sporting some massive clock speeds but a slightly slimmed down accessory package without a mini HDMI to HDMI adaptor, this card is geared towards gamers who don’t need any superfluous accessories. However, it does come with a “hefty” price tag of $169.
ASUS has used their DirectCu heatsink on this card along with what they call Super Alloy Power which is supposed to ensure clean and effective power delivery to various onboard components. Basically, the components are upgraded over the reference card.
At around 8 ¾” in length, the Ultimate is slightly longer than the reference version’s 8 ¼” but since this card uses a PCI-E power connector that’s placed at a right angle to the PCB, it actually winds up taking the same amount of place once installed. Meanwhile, the backplate sports a unique layout and includes a full size HDMI output which is why no adaptor was included in the box.
EVGA GTX 550 Ti 1GB FPB
Last year, EVGA introduced the first of their FPB or Free Performance Boost branded graphics cards. These offered higher performance than the reference-based versions while retailing for not a penny more than the MSRP. This series has now been brought over into the budget friendly market by offering a reasonable clock speed bump on the GTX 550 Ti. The FPB also comes with EVGA’s 3 year standard warranty which can be upgraded to 5 or 10 year coverage for a nominal fee.
Like most other EVGA cards, this one adheres to NVIDIA’s reference design which means it’s equipped with a centrally mounted 80mm fan blowing down onto a standard aluminum heatsink. Naturally, EVGA applies their own brand stickers which actually look quite good in this case.
As we said, nothing here is any different from the reference design. There is still a 6-pin PCI-E header on the back of the card while output connectors consist of two DVIs and a single mini HDMI.
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