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GeForce GTX 280 vs GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 has a GPU core clock speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also features 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, which uses a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1026 MHz on this particular model. It features 192 SPUs along with 32 Texture Address Units and 24 ROPs.

(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

In theory, the GeForce GTX 280 should be 44% quicker than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti overall, due to its higher bandwidth. (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 (more or less 67%) more effective at anisotropic 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 a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is the winner, 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

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

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 largest 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 interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units 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 output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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