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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 has a core clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory frequency of 400 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4550 512MB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a frequency of 800 MHz on this particular model. It features 80(16x5) SPUs along with 8 TAUs and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4550 512MB 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 should be a lot (about 80%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4550 512MB. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 512MB 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 512MB

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 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Sep 30, 2008
Code Name G84 RV710
Memory 256 MB 512 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 GDDR3
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 maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the 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 maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4550 512MB

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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