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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 clock speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 RAM is set to run at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4550 256MB, which comes with a clock frequency of 600 MHz and a DDR3 memory frequency of 800 MHz. It also features a 64-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 80(16x5) SPUs, 8 Texture Address Units, and 4 Raster Operation Units.

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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 bandwidth, so theoretically they should have the same performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 should be quite a bit (about 80%) better at anisotropic filtering 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

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 will be a lot (approximately 80%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4550 256MB, and will be able to handle higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the 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 are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling 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 could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - 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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