Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5450
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory runs at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.
Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5450, which has a core clock speed of 650 MHz and a DDR3 memory speed of 800 MHz. It also features a 64-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 80(16x5) SPUs, 8 TAUs, and 4 ROPs.
(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Both cards have exactly the same memory bandwidth, so in theory they should perform the same. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 is quite a bit (about 66%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5450. (explain)
Pixel RateThe GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 will be a lot (more or less 66%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5450, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)
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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the 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 the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number 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 also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.