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A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

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

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

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the GeForce 9800 GTX should be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 5550 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GTX will be quite a bit (more or less 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

The GeForce 9800 GTX will be much (about 145%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5550, and also should be capable of handling higher 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
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 2200 MHz 800 MHz
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 past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock 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 applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few 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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