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GeForce 8500 GT vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 8500 GT makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 450 MHz. The DDR2 memory is set to run at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 16 SPUs along with 8 TAUs and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5550, which comes with GPU core speed of 550 MHz, and 512 MB of DDR2 memory running at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation 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 the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 should be a lot (more or less 144%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce 8500 GT. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8500 GT 3600 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 5200 (144%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 will be much (approximately 144%) better at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8500 GT, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8500 GT 1800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2600 (144%)

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 8500 GT

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 8500 GT Radeon HD 5550
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 February 9, 2010
Code Name G86 Redwood LE
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 450 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 45 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 3600 Mtexels/sec 8800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 1800 Mpixels/sec 4400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 16 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 8 16
Render Output Units 4 8
Bus Type DDR2 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 210 million 627 million
Bus PCIe x16, PCI, 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 max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8500 GT

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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