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GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs Radeon HD 4870 2GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1026 MHz on this model. It features 192 SPUs as well as 32 Texture Address Units and 24 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4870 2GB, which comes with GPU core speed of 750 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

(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 2GB 150 Watts
Difference: 34 Watts (29%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 4870 2GB should in theory perform a small bit faster than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 2GB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 98496 MB/sec
Difference: 16704 (17%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 2GB will be just a bit (more or less 4%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 2GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 28800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1200 (4%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing 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 2GB 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 2GB

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 2GB
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 2048 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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core 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 processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant 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 max fill rate.

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