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GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) features a core clock speed of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also features a 128-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

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

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 will be a bit (about 2%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GS (OEM). (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 160 (2%)

Pixel Rate

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5550 is superior to the GeForce 8600 GS (OEM), but only just. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) 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 GS (OEM)

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 GS (OEM) 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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GS (OEM)

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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