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GeForce GT 310 vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce GT 310 features a core clock speed of 589 MHz and a DDR2 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also features a 64-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 16 SPUs, 8 Texture Address Units, and 4 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5550, which features core speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce GT 310 should in theory perform a lot faster than the Radeon HD 5550 overall. (explain)

GeForce GT 310 16000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5550 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 3200 (25%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 is a lot (about 87%) better at AF than the GeForce GT 310. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GT 310 4712 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4088 (87%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 should be quite a bit (approximately 87%) faster with regards to AA than the GeForce GT 310, and will be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GT 310 2356 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2044 (87%)

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

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GeForce GT 310

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 5550

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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

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Model GeForce GT 310 Radeon HD 5550
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2009 February 9, 2010
Code Name GT218 Redwood LE
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 589 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 31 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 16000 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 4712 Mtexels/sec 8800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 2356 Mpixels/sec 4400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 16 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 8 16
Render Output Units 4 8
Bus Type DDR2 DDR2
Bus Width 64-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 260 million 627 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GT 310

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5550

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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