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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4550 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 comes with a GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 memory runs at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 32 Stream Processors, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4550 256MB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 600 MHz. The DDR3 memory is set to run at a frequency of 800 MHz on this specific model. It features 80(16x5) SPUs as well as 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 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 22 Watts (88%)

Memory Bandwidth

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 should be quite a bit (more or less 80%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 4550 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 256MB 4800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3840 (80%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 is the winner, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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 512MB 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 512MB DDR2 Radeon HD 4550 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Sep 30, 2008
Code Name G84 RV710
Memory 512 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 max amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR 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 texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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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