Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5550
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory is set to run at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.
Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5550, which comes with core speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Both cards have the exact same bandwidth, so in theory they should perform exactly the same. (explain)
Texel RateThe Radeon HD 5550 will be a little bit (about 2%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)
Pixel RateThe Radeon HD 5550 will be a small bit (approximately 2%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)
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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, 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 number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the 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 amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.