A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
VS

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB vs GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB features a GPU clock speed of 650 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 64 SPUs, 32 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, which uses a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1026 MHz on this card. It features 192 SPUs as well as 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 9600 GT 1GB 95 Watts
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 116 Watts
Difference: 21 Watts (22%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti should in theory be quite a bit better than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB overall. (explain)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 98496 MB/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 40896 (71%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti will be quite a bit (about 38%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 28800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 20800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 8000 (38%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 550 Ti should be a lot (approximately 108%) better at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, and capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 21600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 10400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 11200 (108%)

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 9600 GT 1GB

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

Display Specifications

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Model GeForce 9600 GT 1GB GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year Feb 2008 March 2011
Code Name G94a/b GF116
Fab Process 65/55 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.1 x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 650 MHz 900 MHz
Shader Speed 1625 MHz 1800 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 4104 MHz
Unified Shaders 64 192
Texture Mapping Units 32 32
Render Output Units 16 24
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 192-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 95 watts 116 watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 98496 MB/sec
Texel Rate 20800 Mtexels/sec 28800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10400 Mpixels/sec 21600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock 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 applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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