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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX features core speeds of 675 MHz on the GPU, and 1100 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5550, which comes with GPU core speed of 550 MHz, and 512 MB of DDR2 memory running at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce 9800 GTX should be 450% faster than the Radeon HD 5550 overall, because of its higher data rate. (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 (about 391%) faster with regards to AF 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 much (about 145%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 5550, and should 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

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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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, 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 number of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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