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GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) vs Radeon HD 5550

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) features core speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5550, which has a clock frequency of 550 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same bandwidth, so in theory they should have the same performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 should be a bit (about 2%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GS (OEM). (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 160 (2%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5550 should be a small bit (approximately 2%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GS (OEM), and also will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 5550 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 80 (2%)

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 GS (OEM)

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.

Specifications

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Model GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) Radeon HD 5550
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 February 9, 2010
Code Name G84 Redwood LE
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 8800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 4400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 16
Render Output Units 8 8
Bus Type DDR2 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 627 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GS (OEM)

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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