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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 4550 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4550 512MB, which comes with core clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 800 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 80(16x5) SPUs as well as 8 TAUs and 4 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4550 512MB 25 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 172 Watts (688%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GX2, in theory, should be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4550 512MB overall. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4550 512MB 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 115200 (900%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be quite a bit (more or less 1500%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 4550 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 512MB 4800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 72000 (1500%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 512MB 2400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 16800 (700%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 4550 512MB

Amazon.com

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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 9800 GX2 Radeon HD 4550 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Sep 30, 2008
Code Name G92 RV710
Memory 512 MB (x2) 512 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 600 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 1600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 25 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 4800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 2400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 80(16x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 8
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 4
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 64-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million 242 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high 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 number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, especially 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 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4550 512MB

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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