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A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
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GeForce GTX 280 vs GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 features a core clock speed of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1107 MHz. It also makes use of a 512-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It is comprised of 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, which has core speeds of 900 MHz on the GPU, and 1026 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 192 SPUs along with 32 TAUs and 24 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
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 120 Watts (103%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the GeForce GTX 280 should be a lot faster than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 98496 MB/sec
Difference: 43200 (44%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 280 will be much (approximately 67%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 28800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 19360 (67%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is superior to the GeForce GTX 280, not by a very large margin though. (explain)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 21600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2336 (12%)

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

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

GeForce GTX 550 Ti

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

Display Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 280 GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year June 17, 2008 March 2011
Code Name G200 GF116
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.1 x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 900 MHz
Shader Speed 1296 MHz 1800 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 4104 MHz
Unified Shaders 240 192
Texture Mapping Units 80 32
Render Output Units 32 24
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 192-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 116 watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 98496 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 28800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 21600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one 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. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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