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GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti features a core clock frequency of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1026 MHz. It also uses a 192-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 192 SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 24 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5870, which comes with a core clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 116 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 72 Watts (62%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 5870 should theoretically be much better than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 98496 MB/sec
Difference: 55104 (56%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is a lot (about 136%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 28800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 39200 (136%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 should be a lot (approximately 26%) better at AA than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 21600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5600 (26%)

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 GTX 550 Ti

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 5870

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 GTX 550 Ti Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2011 September 23, 2009
Code Name GF116 Cypress XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 900 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 4104 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 116 watts 188 watts
Bandwidth 98496 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 28800 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 21600 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 192 1600(320x5)
Texture Mapping Units 32 80
Render Output Units 24 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 192-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1170 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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