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GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti uses a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1026 MHz on this particular card. It features 192 SPUs as well as 32 TAUs and 24 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5870, which has clock speeds of 850 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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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

The Radeon HD 5870, in theory, should be 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 will be much (about 136%) more effective at anisotropic 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 using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is a better choice, by a large margin. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 most pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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