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GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1026 MHz on this card. It features 192 SPUs as well as 32 Texture Address Units and 24 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5870, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1200 MHz on this particular card. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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

In theory, the Radeon HD 5870 should be much faster than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is quite a bit (more or less 136%) faster with regards to texture filtering 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

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is a better choice, by far. (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

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

Model GeForce GTX 550 Ti Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2011 September 23, 2009
Code Name GF116 Cypress XT
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 900 MHz 850 MHz
Shader Speed 1800 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1026 MHz (4104 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
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
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 3.2
Power (Max TDP) 116 watts 188 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 98496 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 28800 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 21600 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units 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 applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). 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 potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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