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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 675 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a frequency of 1100 MHz on this card. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5550, which makes use of a 40 nm design. ATi has set the core frequency at 550 MHz. The DDR2 RAM works at a speed of 400 MHz on this specific card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 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

In theory, the GeForce 9800 GTX will be 450% quicker than the Radeon HD 5550 overall, due to 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 should 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 is quite a bit (more or less 145%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 5550, and will be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (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 largest amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core 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 rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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