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GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4550 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory is set to run at a frequency of 400 MHz on this specific card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4550 256MB, which has a core clock speed of 600 MHz and a DDR3 memory frequency of 800 MHz. It also uses a 64-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 80(16x5) SPUs, 8 Texture Address Units, 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 1GB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 22 Watts (88%)

Memory Bandwidth

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 should be much (approximately 80%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4550 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 256MB 4800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3840 (80%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 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 1GB 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 1GB DDR2 Radeon HD 4550 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Sep 30, 2008
Code Name G84 RV710
Memory 1024 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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. 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 1GB 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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