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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4550 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 has clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4550 256MB, which comes with a core clock speed of 600 MHz and a DDR3 memory speed of 800 MHz. It also makes use of a 64-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 80(16x5) SPUs, 8 TAUs, and 4 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4550 256MB 25 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 22 Watts (88%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have exactly the same bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is much (more or less 80%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4550 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 256MB 4800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3840 (80%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is quite a bit (more or less 80%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 4550 256MB, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 256MB 2400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1920 (80%)

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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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4550 256MB

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.

Specifications

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Model GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 Radeon HD 4550 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Sep 30, 2008
Code Name G84 RV710
Memory 256 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 600 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 25 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 4800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 2400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 80(16x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 8
Render Output Units 8 4
Bus Type DDR2 DDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 64-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 nm
Transistors 289 million 242 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4550 256MB

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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