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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 comes with a GPU clock speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 memory is set to run at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5550, which has clock speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 will be just a bit (approximately 2%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 160 (2%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 should be a small bit (about 2%) more effective at FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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 512MB 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 512MB DDR2 Radeon HD 5550
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 February 9, 2010
Code Name G84 Redwood LE
Memory 512 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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core 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 processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly record to its 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 clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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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