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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX features a GPU clock speed of 675 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1100 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 128 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5550, which comes with core clock speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 9800 GTX will be 450% faster than the Radeon HD 5550 overall, because of 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 is a lot (more or less 391%) more effective at 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 will be a lot (about 145%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 5550, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions better. (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 information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied 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 this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock 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 fill rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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