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GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs Radeon HD 4870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti has a clock speed of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1026 MHz. It also uses a 192-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 192 SPUs, 32 TAUs, and 24 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, which has GPU core speed of 750 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 800(160x5) Stream Processors, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 116 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 150 Watts
Difference: 34 Watts (29%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4870 512MB should be 17% quicker than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti overall, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 98496 MB/sec
Difference: 16704 (17%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB should be just a bit (about 4%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 30000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 28800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1200 (4%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 21600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 9600 (80%)

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 550 Ti

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 4870 512MB

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 550 Ti Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2011 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name GF116 RV770 XT
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 900 MHz 750 MHz
Shader Speed 1800 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1026 MHz (4104 MHz effective) 900 MHz (3600 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 192 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 32 40
Render Output Units 24 16
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 192-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 3.0
Power (Max TDP) 116 watts 150 watts
Shader Model 5.0 4.1
Bandwidth 98496 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 28800 Mtexels/sec 30000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 21600 Mpixels/sec 12000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once 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 AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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