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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5450

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM runs at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5450, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 650 MHz. The DDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 800 MHz on this particular card. It features 80(16x5) SPUs along with 8 Texture Address Units and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.

(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%) more effective at anisotropic filtering 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 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 data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 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, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the card's 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 many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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