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GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 comes with clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 1024 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5550, which features a clock frequency of 550 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory 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 1GB DDR2. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5550 is a better choice, not by a very large margin though. (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 largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster 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 applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. 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 output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max 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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