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GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory works at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

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

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 is a little bit (approximately 2%) better at AF 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

The Radeon HD 5550 will be a small bit (about 2%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GS (OEM), and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (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 max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's 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 ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 can be processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can 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 - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to 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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