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GeForce GTX 280 vs GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 has a core clock frequency of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1107 MHz. It also makes use of a 512-bit memory bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It features 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, which comes with 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 Rasterization Operator Units.

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 speaking, the GeForce GTX 280 should be 44% quicker than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 280 should be quite a bit (approximately 67%) more effective at AF 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 lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is the winner, but not by far. (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

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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 1107 MHz (2214 MHz effective) 1026 MHz (4104 MHz effective)
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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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