A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
VS

GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) vs Radeon HD 5450

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) features a GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and the 256 MB of DDR2 memory is set to run at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 32 Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5450, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 650 MHz. The DDR3 RAM works at a frequency of 800 MHz on this specific card. It features 80(16x5) SPUs as well as 8 TAUs and 4 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5450 19 Watts
GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) 47 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (147%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same bandwidth, so in theory they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) is quite a bit (approximately 66%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 5450. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) 8640 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5450 5200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3440 (66%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) is much (about 66%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5450, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) 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

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GS (OEM)

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

Display Specifications

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Model GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) 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 800 MHz 1600 MHz
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 largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one 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 video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

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

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