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GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti has core clock speeds of 900 MHz on the GPU, and 1026 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 192 SPUs along with 32 Texture Address Units and 24 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5870, which has a core clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 TAUs, 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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 5870 should perform quite a bit 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 should be quite a bit (approximately 136%) better at 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

The Radeon HD 5870 should be much (approximately 26%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, and will be able to handle 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

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 (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better 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 are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number 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 amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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