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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 5550


Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 675 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1100 MHz on this particular card. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5550, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 550 MHz. The DDR2 memory works at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce 9800 GTX will be 450% faster than the Radeon HD 5550 overall, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GTX is much (approximately 391%) faster with regards to 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

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GTX is superior to the Radeon HD 5550, by far. (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

GeForce 9800 GTX

Radeon HD 5550

Specifications

Display 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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better 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 processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as 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, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

GeForce 9800 GTX

Radeon HD 5550

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