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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5450

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM is set to run at a speed of 400 MHz on this specific model. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5450, which features clock speeds of 650 MHz on the GPU, and 800 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR3 memory. It features 80(16x5) SPUs along with 8 TAUs and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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 bandwidth, so theoretically they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 should be much (approximately 66%) more effective 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

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 should be quite a bit (about 66%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5450, and should be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (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

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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

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Model GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 Radeon HD 5450
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 February 4, 2010
Code Name G84 Cedar PRO
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 650 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 19 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 5200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 2600 Mpixels/sec
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
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 292 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 data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core 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 in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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