MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC Video Card Review

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Temperature Testing

Since video card temperatures and the heat generated by next-generation cards have become an area of concern among enthusiasts and gamers, we want to take a closer look at how the graphics cards do at idle and under a full load.

MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC Video Card Idle Temperature:

MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC Video Card GPU-Z 0.5.1 Details

As you can see from the screen shot above, the MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC GeForce GTX 550 Ti had power idle states of 50.6MHz on the GPU core clock and 135MHz on the memory. These clocks combined with the custom MSI Cyclone designed cooler showed that we had an idle temperature of just 25C in a room with a temperature of 21C. This is a very good idle temperature and beats the ASUS Ultimate GeForce GTX550 Ti that we reviewed earlier this week by 4C at idle.

We fired up FurMark and ran the stability at 640×480, which was enough to put the GPU core at 100% load in order to get the highest load temperature possible. This application also charts the temperature results so you can see how the temperature rises and levels off, which is very nice. The fans on the video card was left on auto during temperature testing. When we hit the space bar to stop the rendering the temperature dropped.

MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC Video Card Load Temperature:

MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC Video Card Load Temp

The MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC peaked at 59C according to Furmark and that is amazing to say the least. The only other GeForce GTX 550 Ti video card that we reviewed has been the ASUS Ultimate and this card was significantly cooler than that.  Take a look at the screenshot below to see what we mean. Both cards were tested on the same day with exactly the same room temperatures!

ASUS Ultimate GTX550 Ti DirectCU Video Card Load Temperature:

ASUS Ultimate GTX550 Ti DirectCU Video Card Load Temp

The ASUS Ultimate GTX550 Ti 1GB peaked at 76C, which means that the MSI card is 22% or 17C cooler at load. You have to keep in mind that the MSI card is 65Mhz slower at the core clock though and as a result was slower in every single game benchmark we ran.

MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC Video Card Load Temp

The MSI Cyclone II GPU cooler uses a 90mm fan to keep the N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC nice and cool. We found that it wasn’t loud at idle as it spun at just 1260RPM (40%). With the GPU load at nearly 100% we noticed that the RPM’s more than doubled and the fan was now spinning at 70% fan speed or 2760RPM. This solution is a bit louder than the ASUS card, but keep in mind you can always manually control the fan speed with software utilities.  We saw this statement in the press release on this card:

The MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC graphics card is equipped with the new Cyclone II Heatsink module featuring MSI’s innovative Propeller Blade technology. Air channels on the edge of the fan blades expand airflow coverage and increased airflow by 20% compared to conventional fans! Oversized 9cm PWM fans, large nickel-plated copper Heatsink base and high-density circular radiator fins all serve to dissipate heat rapidly away from the GPU, enabling the new N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC to run 23 degrees cooler than the reference board under full load! - MSI PR

We can easily confirm this as being true as we noticed a 20% temperature difference versus one of their biggest competitors cards!

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