At $159 US the ASUS GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP is a pretty good buy, made only better by the fact that if you purchase it at Newegg you can score a copy of Mafia II for a limited time.
Overclocking on the card is very strong, but what's more surprising is the cooler efficiency when the core is running at a whopping 1050MHz. 69c is good, but not a real stand out; the fact it does that in near silence is what makes the cooler so great. You'd think that with the core clock being pushed so high that the fan would be working harder, but it's clear that it doesn't need to which tells us just how good the cooler is.
There's not really much more that needs to be said about this GTX 550 Ti. If you're looking at spending around the mid $100 US mark and you like what the GTX 550 Ti brings to the table, this is a good offering. It's quieter than not just any other GTX 550 Ti we've tested, but any other card we've tested period. It has some good OC potential and if you don't want to overclock, the 975MHz out of the box core clock is strong.
Overall this is a good GTX 550 Ti that people who want silence are going to love. The fact you can push the core clock over 1GHz and still have near silence as well is just a massive bonus.