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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5450

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 comes with a clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory frequency of 400 MHz. It also features a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 80 nm design. It features 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5450, which comes with a core clock speed of 650 MHz and a DDR3 memory speed of 800 MHz. It also uses a 64-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 80(16x5) SPUs, 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 exactly the same memory bandwidth, so in theory they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is quite a bit (approximately 66%) better at 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 using a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is superior to the Radeon HD 5450, by a large margin. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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