A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
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GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs Radeon HD 4850 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti features clock speeds of 900 MHz on the GPU, and 1026 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 192 SPUs along with 32 Texture Address Units and 24 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a speed of 993 MHz on this card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 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)

Radeon HD 4850 512MB 110 Watts
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 116 Watts
Difference: 6 Watts (5%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti will be 55% faster than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB overall, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 98496 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 63552 MB/sec
Difference: 34944 (55%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti will be just a bit (more or less 15%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 28800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 25000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3800 (15%)

Pixel Rate

If running with 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 4850 512MB 10000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 11600 (116%)

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 550 Ti

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 4850 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

Display Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 550 Ti Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2011 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name GF116 RV770 PRO
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 900 MHz 625 MHz
Shader Speed 1800 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 4104 MHz 1986 MHz
Unified Shaders 192 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 32 40
Render Output Units 24 16
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR3
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 110 watts
Shader Model 5.0 4.1
Bandwidth 98496 MB/sec 63552 MB/sec
Texel Rate 28800 Mtexels/sec 25000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 21600 Mpixels/sec 10000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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