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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4550 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 features a core clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4550 256MB, which features core clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 800 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR3 memory. It features 80(16x5) SPUs as well as 8 Texture Address Units and 4 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4550 256MB 25 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 22 Watts (88%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 will be quite a bit (more or less 80%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 4550 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 256MB 4800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3840 (80%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is quite a bit (more or less 80%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4550 256MB, and should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 256MB 2400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1920 (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

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 4550 256MB

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 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 Radeon HD 4550 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Sep 30, 2008
Code Name G84 RV710
Memory 256 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 600 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 25 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 4800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 2400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 80(16x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 8
Render Output Units 8 4
Bus Type DDR2 DDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 64-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 nm
Transistors 289 million 242 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling 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 the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4550 256MB

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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