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GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti comes with a GPU core clock speed of 900 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1026 MHz through a 192-bit bus. It also is comprised of 192 SPUs, 32 TAUs, and 24 ROPs.

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

Display Graphs

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(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 56% faster than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti overall, because of its higher data rate. (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 a lot (about 136%) better 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 high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is the winner, and very much so. (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
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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per 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 applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka 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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