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Radeon HD 5550 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 5550 comes with core clock speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with core clock speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 7870 should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 5550 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5550 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 140800 (1100%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 is quite a bit (about 809%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 5550. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 71200 (809%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 27600 (627%)

Please note that the above 'benchmarks' are all just theoretical - the results were calculated based on the card's specifications, and real-world performance may (and probably will) vary at least a bit.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 5550

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

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Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 5550 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year February 9, 2010 March 2012
Code Name Redwood LE Pitcairn XT
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 550 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8800 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4400 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 1280
Texture Mapping Units 16 80
Render Output Units 8 32
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR5
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 627 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 5550

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

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