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GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory runs at a speed of 400 MHz on this model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5550, which comes with a core clock frequency of 550 MHz and a DDR2 memory frequency of 400 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up 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 theoretically they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 will be a bit (more or less 2%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 160 (2%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 will be a small bit (more or less 2%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 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 1GB 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 1GB DDR2 Radeon HD 5550
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 February 9, 2010
Code Name G84 Redwood LE
Memory 1024 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 information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 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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