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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX has core speeds of 675 MHz on the GPU, and 1100 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5550, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 550 MHz. The DDR2 memory is set to run at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 9800 GTX should be 450% quicker than the Radeon HD 5550 in general, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GTX should be a lot (approximately 391%) faster with regards to texture 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 quite a bit (approximately 145%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 5550, and also able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (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 max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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