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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5450

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 features core speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5450, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 650 MHz. The DDR3 RAM is set to run at a speed of 800 MHz on this specific model. It features 80(16x5) SPUs along with 8 TAUs and 4 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5450 19 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (147%)

Memory Bandwidth

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is quite a bit (about 66%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 5450. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5450 5200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3440 (66%)

Pixel Rate

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5450 2600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1720 (66%)

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

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 5450

Amazon.com

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

Model GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 Radeon HD 5450
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 February 4, 2010
Code Name G84 Cedar PRO
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 650 MHz
Shader Speed 1180 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 400 MHz (800 MHz effective) 800 MHz (1600 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 32 80(16x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 8
Render Output Units 8 4
Bus Type DDR2 DDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 64-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 19 watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 5200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 2600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to 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 potential to reach the max fill rate.

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