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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 675 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1100 MHz on this card. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5550, which features a core clock speed of 550 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also features a 128-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce 9800 GTX is 450% quicker than the Radeon HD 5550 in general, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GTX 70400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5550 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 57600 (450%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GTX will be a lot (approximately 391%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5550. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GTX 43200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 34400 (391%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GTX should be much (approximately 145%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5550, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GTX 10800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6400 (145%)

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 9800 GTX

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 5550

Amazon.com

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 9800 GTX Radeon HD 5550
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2008 February 9, 2010
Code Name G92 Redwood LE
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 675 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 2200 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 140 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 43200 Mtexels/sec 8800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10800 Mpixels/sec 4400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 16
Render Output Units 16 8
Bus Type GDDR3 DDR2
Bus Width 256-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 754 million 627 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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