Gainward today up the ante by offering us a 1GHz clock out of the gate that gives really nice performance overall at 1680 x 1050 and even 1920 x 1200 depending on the age of the game or the amount of detail you want to run.
Not only have they chosen to increase the core, though, they've also given a nice bump to the memory clock which helps push performance up again, and what you end up with is a card that simply performs well at the above mentioned resolutions.
While the card does indeed run quite warm at a little over 70c, that's due to the decision for Gainward to opt for a near silent solution. The heat might be considered a little warm for a mid-range card like this, but the model has a tolerance for over 90c and we can't see any way the card would get there.
Also, in a case with some structured air flow that temperature would probably drop down a little; so would other cards, though, and that's something you need to take into consideration. If you're looking for something that will let you game at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200 here and there in a near silent environment, though, this is a very good option.
Aggressive pricing from NVIDIA on the series and its overall performance help the series look very attractive. The extra length that Gainward has gone to by offering a 1GHz card and a cooler that runs at near silence is what makes this a stand out model.
We've got something a little different to the previous GTX 550 Ti we looked at and depending on what exactly you're after, this could well be a better choice.