The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition
Based in Hong Kong, ZOTAC has been around since 2006 and entered the market with an expanded lineup of NVIDIA GeForce based graphics cards, which included the passive-cooled ZOTAC GeForce ZONE Editions and class leading overclocked ZOTAC GeForce AMP! Editions, in addition to the standard GeForce series lineup. ZOTAC has since expanded its focus to include motherboards, mini-PCs and innovative accessories worldwide.
ZOTAC runs with 44 SMT lines, and has over 6,000 workers in a combined 100,000 square-meters of factory space. In addition, ZOTAC has over 130 R&D professionals in Hong Kong, China with warranty and service centers worldwide to provide effective and efficient support.
NVIDIA has been a whirlwind of activity since the development of the FERMI chips starting with the GeForce GTX 400 series and then the improved GeForce GTX 500 series. They have tried to bring the latest DirectX 11 technology to every price point with the current king of the hill being the GeForce GTX 590 currently priced at $749.99 shipped down to the entry level GTX550 Ti series which is where the card we are review today sits. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition (model ZT-50402-10L) is one of three models offered by ZOTAC in the 550Ti family.
Three versions of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphic cards:
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti ZT-50401-10L $109.99 shipped
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti Multiview ZT-50403-10L Not Yet Released
ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 550 Ti ZT-50402-10L $124.99 shipped
The AMP! version has an MSRP of $172.99 but we found it as low as $124.99 from our shopping network, which includes Newegg. The multi view version of the GTX550Ti was not shipping as of this review but it is on the ZOTAC web site with out a price.
ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 550 Ti Specifications:
- Model: ZT-50402-10L
- Cooler Type: Fan (Dual Slot)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti GPU
- Core Clock: 1000 MHz
- Shader Clock: 2000 MHz
- Core Processors: 192 Stream Processors
- Memory Clock: 4400 MHz (1100 MHz)
- Memory Size 1GB
- Memory Interface 192-bit
- Memory Type: GDDR5
- DirectX Support: DirectX 11
- DisplayPort: 1
- Dual dual-link DVI (Up to 2560×1600)
- Max Resolution: 2560 x 1600
- HDCP Ready: Yes
- HDMI Support: 1x HDMI 1.4a w/audio (8-channel LPCM & bitstream)
- Interface: PCI Express 2.0 x 16 (Compatible with 1.1)
- Single 6 Pin PCI-E power connector required
- Recommended Minimum PSU Wattage: 400-Watt
- SLI Supported: Yes (2-Way ready)
- HDTV Support: Full HD 1080p
- Dimensions: 4.376 in x 7.4 in (111.15 mm x 187.96 mm)
Warranty: 2-Year Standard Warranty; 3-Year Extended Warranty
- Counting cooling shroud 4.376 in x 7.625 in (111.15 mm x 193.67 mm)
Inside the ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 550 Ti box:
- DVI-to-VGA adapter
- Dual MOLEX to 6-pin PCIe power adapter
- Driver Disk
- ZOTAC Boost Premium software bundle
- User manual
Looking at the ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 550 Ti :
The front of the card has a sharp looking black and dark yellow almost orange theme with black plastic and yellow painted metal mesh. The front of the card has a single 75 cm fan set right above the heat sink attached to the GPU. No exotic heat pipes or other extreme cooling solutions for the entry level GPU of the NVIDIA 500 GTX series. You will be able to see on the thermal testing page just how well this simple cooler works.
The back of the card is a typical PCB in black to keep the black and yellow theme going. In this shot you can more clearly see the SLI connection point for 2-Way SLI.
ZOTAC has modified the reference design of the NVIDIA GTX550 Ti to include a port for Display Port connectivity. To keep this card as a dual slot form factor they had to reduce the size of the port vent and put the two DL-DVI ports next to each other instead of stacking them. This gives them room to keep both of the DVI, the HDMI,and the added Display Port. They also colored the DL-DVI ports yellow in keeping with the theme even though you would never see them with a DVI cable plugged in.
If you look at the other side of the card you can see the fan stacked on top of the heat sink. The fan blows the air over the heat sink and then it goes either left out of your case or right and goes into your case. As always as long as you are aware of this and have decent case airflow this should be a non-issue.
This graphics card requires a single 6-Pin PCI-E power connectors and the recommended minimum PSU is 400 Watts. This really is a minimum as this is based on a PC with an Intel i7 CPU, single HDD, single ODD and only one GTX 550Ti. If you want to run SLI or have a broader range of power consuming hardware you should consider a PSU supplying 500 Watts or more. Personally I try to run at least 650 Watts or more in any of my systems with my daily rig running a 850 Watt PSU for plenty of room to grow.
Overall I would say that ZOTAC has made the ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 550 Ti aesthetically pleasing especially given this is a $130.00 entry level card. Even those on a seriously tight budget can still get bling!