After careful consideration I have decided to transfer all hardware review activities to a new domain.  I purchased in 2012 and have been working hard to build a new and improved Ninjalane on that domain.  If you are reading this you have reached one of the archived articles, news, projects and/or reviews that were left behind during the site migration. 

Please update your bookmarks and be sure to visit the new and improved Ninjalane at

  • reviews
  • video
  • MSI GTX550 Ti Cyclone OC Video Card Review
  • MSI GTX550 Ti Cyclone OC Video Card Review


    The Card Uncovered

    Here is the MSI GTX550-Ti Cyclone with the heatsink removed to expose the full PCB and GPU. It only takes a total of four screws to detach the heatsink from the card, afterwards it lifts right away.
    The heatsink on the Cyclone is very different from the reference version with a large contact surface that has two heatpipes running right over top of the GPU core. These heatpipes flow out around a fan in the middle of the heatsink through two aluminum radiators. 
    There are only a few cosmetic changes between the MSI and reference PCBs, otherwise they are identical.  The VRM area comes with a passive heatsink that will aid in overclocking and longevity of the card over the reference version.
    Power Management is important when it comes to overall stability, as we mentioned before MSI has included an aluminum passive heatsink to keep the mosfets cool.  They have also included closed Solid State Chokes using a pure iron core to help with overclocking and even knocking out any buzzing that may come from the card under heavy usage. 
    A 6-pin PCI-Express connector is needed in order to power the GTX550Ti. It is recommended that your PSU be at least 400 Watts for best results.