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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 features core speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5550, which has core 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 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same bandwidth, so in theory they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 will be a bit (about 2%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 160 (2%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5550 is the winner, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 80 (2%)

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 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5550

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 Radeon HD 5550
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 February 9, 2010
Code Name G84 Redwood LE
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 8800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 4400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 16
Render Output Units 8 8
Bus Type DDR2 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 627 million
Bus PCIe x16 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 megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. 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 quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5550

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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