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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX has a core clock frequency of 675 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1100 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It features 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5550, which uses a 40 nm design. ATi has set the core frequency at 550 MHz. The DDR2 memory is set to run at a speed of 400 MHz on this specific card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Battlefield Bad Company 2

Settings: High Quality
AA: 4x
AF: 8x
Resolution: 1920x1200
Test Machine: Tom's Hardware Test Machine (Source)
GeForce 9800 GTX 25 FPS
Radeon HD 5550 10 FPS
Difference: 15 FPS (150%)

Left4Dead 2

Settings: Very High
AA: 8x
AF: 16x
Resolution: 1920x1200
Test Machine: Tom's Hardware Test Machine (Source)
GeForce 9800 GTX 47 FPS
Radeon HD 5550 26 FPS
Difference: 21 FPS (81%)

Mass Effect 2

Settings: Maximum Quality
AA: none
AF: 8x
Resolution: 1920x1200
Test Machine: Tom's Hardware Test Machine (Source)
GeForce 9800 GTX 68 FPS
Radeon HD 5550 26 FPS
Difference: 42 FPS (162%)

Supreme Commander 2

Settings: High
AA: 8x
AF: 16x
Resolution: 1920x1200
Test Machine: Tom's Hardware Test Machine (Source)
GeForce 9800 GTX 31 FPS
Radeon HD 5550 19 FPS
Difference: 12 FPS (63%)

GeForce 9800 GTX wins

(Based entirely on the benchmarks listed above)

When combining all game benchmark scores on this page together, the GeForce 9800 GTX wins overall, by 90 FPS. Please note that we do not have the results of every benchmark ever done for these cards, so the results may differ wildly in different games.

GeForce 9800 GTX 171 FPS
Radeon HD 5550 81 FPS
Difference: 90 FPS (111%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GTX should in theory be much faster than the Radeon HD 5550 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GTX should be much (more or less 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

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GTX is superior to the Radeon HD 5550, by a large margin. (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

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords, and might not be the exact same card listed on this page. We have no control over the accuracy of their search results.

GeForce 9800 GTX

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Radeon HD 5550

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Specifications

Model GeForce 9800 GTX Radeon HD 5550
Manufacturer nVidia ATi
Year April 2008 February 9, 2010
Code Name G92 Redwood LE
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.1 x16
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 675 MHz 550 MHz
Shader Speed 1688 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1100 MHz (2200 MHz effective) 400 MHz (800 MHz effective)
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
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2
Power (Max TDP) 140 watts (N/A) watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 43200 Mtexels/sec 8800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10800 Mpixels/sec 4400 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, 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 most pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core 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 output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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