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NVIDIA GeForce GT 550M

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 550M is a fast middle-class graphics card for laptops. It is based on the GF108 core, which is similar to certain GeForce 400M cards but with higher clock speeds. Therefore, features like PureVideo HD (VP4), 3DVision, HD Audio support and others are identical to the GT445M.

GF108 architecture

The GF108 core of the GTX 550M is related to the GF100 core of the GeFore GTX 480M, but offers only 96 shaders and a 128 Bit memory bus for both GDDR5 or DDR3. More information on the GF108 can be found on the GeForce GT 435M page.

Performance

The performance of the 550M depends on the used graphics memory. If using DDR3, the card is on a similar level with the Radeon HD 6750M. Demanding games such as Crysis 2 are playable in 1366x768 and high details. Higher resolutions at maximum settings will not be playable in demanding games like  Metro 2033 or Bad Company 2. See below for detailed benchmark results.

Features

A novel feature of the GF104/106/108 chips is the support for Bitstream HD Audio output via HDMI for Blu-ray playback. Similar the Radeon HD 5730, the GT 550M can transfer Dolby True HD and DTS-HD bitstream without quality loss to a HiFi receiver.

The GT550M offers the PureVideo HD technology for video decoding. The included Video Processor 4 (VP4) supports feature set C and is able to fully decode MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2 (MPEG-4 ASP - e.g., DivX or Xvid), VC-1/WMV9, and H.264 (VLD, IDCT, Motion Compensation, and Deblocking). 

Furthermore, the GPU is able to decode two 1080p streams simultaneously (e.g. for Blu-Ray Picture-in-Picture).

Through CUDA, OpenCL and DirectCompute 2.1 support, the GeForce GT 550M can be of help in general calculations. For example, the stream processor can  encode videos considerably faster than can a modern CPU. Furthermore, physics calculations can be done by the GPU using PhysX. Certain games, such as Mafia or Metro 2033, natively support this feature. 

According to Nvidia, support for 3D Vision on the GT 500M series is also new. It enables the laptop to send 3D content (3D games, 3D Web Streaming, 3D photos, 3D Blu-Rays) to a built-in 3D-enabled screen or an external 3D TV if supported by the manufacturer.

The relative high power consumption of the GeForce GT 550M suits it for 15-inch or larger laptops. To save power, the card supports Optimus to automatically switch between the integrated graphics card from Intel and the Nvidia GPU. Most notebooks with GT 5xxM GPUs support this feature, but its implementation is dependent on the laptop manufacturer.

ManufacturerNVIDIA
GeForce GT 500M Series

GeForce GT 555M

144 @ 525 - 753 (Boost) MHz128/192 Bit @ 785-900 MHz
GeForce GT 550M 96 @ 740 MHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz

GeForce GT 540M

96 @ 672 MHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz

GeForce GT 525M

96 @ 600 MHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz

GeForce GT 520MX

48 @ 900 MHz64 Bit @ 900 MHz

GeForce GT 520M

48 @ 740 / 600 MHz64 / 128 Bit @ 800 / 900 MHz
CodenameN12P-GT
ArchitectureFermi
Pipelines96 - unified
Core Speed *740 MHz
Shader Speed *1480 MHz
Memory Speed *900 MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Memory TypeDDR3/GDDR5
Max. Amount of Memory1536 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 11, Shader 5.0
technology40 nm
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement06.01.2011
* The specified clock rates are only guidelines for the manufacturer and can be altered by them.

Benchmarks

3DMark 11 - Performance GPU 1280x720
0% 100%
min: 934      avg: 981.7 (4%)     median: 973.5 (4%)     max: 1028 points
3DMark 11 - Performance 1280x720
0% 100%
min: 1048      avg: 1098.8 (6%)     median: 1099.5 (6%)     max: 1145 points
3DMark Vantage - P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 3728      avg: 3865.5 (8%)     median: 3843.5 (7%)     max: 4073 Points
3DMark Vantage - P Result no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 4436      avg: 4726.3 (10%)     median: 4781.5 (10%)     max: 4845 Points
3DMark 06
0% 100%
min: 8434      avg: 8904.7 (23%)     median: 8796.5 (23%)     max: 9365 Points
3DMark 05 - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 16365      avg: 16509.5 (45%)     median: 16509.5 (45%)     max: 16654 Points
3DMark 03 - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 21918      avg: 22100.5 (15%)     median: 22100.5 (15%)     max: 22283 Points
3DMark 2001SE - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 32347      avg: 32347 (53%)     median: 32347 (53%)     max: 32347 Points
Unigine Heaven 2.1 - high, Tesselation (normal), DirectX11 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 14.2      avg: 14.5 (8%)     median: 14.5 (8%)     max: 14.7 fps
PCMark Vantage - Gaming Score 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 7278      avg: 9095.3 (35%)     median: 7304 (28%)     max: 12704 Points
SPECviewperf 11 - Siemens NX 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 2.05      avg: 2.8 (4%)     median: 3.2 (5%)     max: 3.23 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Tcvis 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 0.75      avg: 0.9 (1%)     median: 0.9 (2%)     max: 0.92 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - SolidWorks 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 5.52      avg: 6.5 (10%)     median: 6.5 (10%)     max: 7.43 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Pro/ENGINEER 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 0.97      avg: 1 (5%)     median: 1 (5%)     max: 1.05 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Maya 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 5.16      avg: 6.3 (6%)     median: 6.8 (6%)     max: 6.87 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Lightwave 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 9.33      avg: 9.5 (12%)     median: 9.5 (12%)     max: 9.6 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Ensight 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 10.58      avg: 11 (11%)     median: 11.1 (11%)     max: 11.16 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Catia 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 3.48      avg: 3.9 (6%)     median: 4.1 (6%)     max: 4.23 fps
Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 64Bit
0% 100%
min: 26.56      avg: 26.9 (22%)     median: 26.8 (22%)     max: 27.21 Points
Cinebench R10 - Shading 32Bit
0% 100%
min: 4394      avg: 5305 (36%)     median: 5380 (37%)     max: 5985 Points
Windows 7 Experience Index - Gaming graphics
0% 100%
min: 6.7      avg: 6.7 (85%)     median: 6.7 (85%)     max: 6.7 points
Windows 7 Experience Index - Graphics
0% 100%
min: 5.9      avg: 6.2 (78%)     median: 5.9 (75%)     max: 6.7 points
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card

Game Benchmarks

The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailled information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

Fifa 12

Fifa 12

2011
low 800x600
266.3  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
168.1  fps      Compare
high 1360x768
118.1  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
Dirt 3

Dirt 3

2011
low 800x600
166.4 fps  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
53.7 66 fps ~ 60 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
41.6 fps 42.9 ~ 42 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
12.7  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
Crysis 2

Crysis 2

2011
low 800x600
58 fps 59.1 ~ 59 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
39.3 fps 39.5 ~ 39 fps      Compare
high 1366x768
29 29.2 fps ~ 29 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
10.3 10.3 fps ~ 10 fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
Call of Duty: Black Ops
low 800x600
95.2 fps  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
61.6 70.8 fps ~ 66 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
50 55.4 fps ~ 53 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
24.2 31.9 fps ~ 28 fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
Fifa 11

Fifa 11

2010
low 800x600
182.1 307.6 330.3 405.1 412.7 ~ 328 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
166.8 182.8 189 209.6 224.2 ~ 194 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
122.9 125.8 132.2 136.4 136.6 ~ 131 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
76.3 76.9 ~ 77 fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Mafia 2

Mafia 2

2010
low 800x600
67.2 71.5 fps ~ 69 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
47.8 fps 50.7 ~ 49 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
37.5 fps 44.2 ~ 41 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
22.4 fps 26.7 ~ 25 fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
StarCraft 2
low 1024x768
201.1 210.6 fps ~ 206 fps      Compare
med. 1360x768
48.9 fps 49.9 ~ 49 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
35.5 fps 37.6 ~ 37 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
18.4 fps 19.4 ~ 19 fps      Compare