Graphics Cards Guide
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NVIDIA geared up for the new year in a big way by releasing the fantastic GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Packing 384 CUDA cores, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti shook up the mainstream to high-end markets and forced AMD to cut prices of both 2GB and 1GB variants of the Radeon HD 6950 and also the Radeon HD 6870, effectively removing the Radeon HD 6870 out of the picture and positioning the beefier Radeon HD 6950 as the GeForce GTX 560 Ti’s main competitor. Nevertheless, in spite of this move, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti remained to be really popular.
And now, NVIDIA is following up with the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti, in an attempt to rejuvenate their mainstream Fermi offerings. In terms of specifications, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is very similar to the older GeForce GTS 450, but with some differences. While the two parts continue to have 192 CUDA cores, the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti gets a wider 192-bit memory bus interface for increased memory bandwidth. To accommodate a 1GB framebuffer on a 192-bit memory interface, NVIDIA has ensured that the GeForce GTX 550 Ti’s memory controller is capable of supporting mixed density memory chips.
Elsewhere, NVIDIA has also improved the anti-aliasing performance of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti by increasing the number of raster operating units (ROPs). The GeForce GTX 550 Ti has 24 ROPs, an increase of eight, and hopefully this will pay dividends when we enable anti-aliasing.
Other than the increase in the number of ROPs, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti also gets much higher clock speeds. In stock form, a reference GeForce GTX 550 Ti will be running at a staggering 900MHz at the core (that's close to a full 1GHz), 1800MHz at the shaders, and 4100MHz DDR at the memory. Comparing this to the older GeForce GTS 450 equivalent clock speeds 783MHz, 1566MHz and 3608MHz DDR, the clock speeds of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti a substantial increase of around 14%. which, along with the increased memory bandwidth and bump in ROPs count, should give a good increase in performance.
All things considered, the increased memory bandwidth, bump in ROPs count, and higher clock speeds, should give the GeForce GTX 550 Ti a good increase in performance over the older GeForce GTS 450. But before we continue, here is a quick look at how NVIDIA’s new part compares against its closest rivals.
GTX 550 Ti
|NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460||AMD Radeon HD 6850||ATI Radeon HD 5770||ATI Radeon HD 5750|
|Core Code||GF116||GF106||GF114||GF104||Barts PRO||Juniper XT||Juniper PRO|
|Transistor Count||1170 million||1170 million||1950 million||1950 million||1700 million||1040 million||1040 million|
|Stream Processors||192 Stream Processors||192 Stream Processors||384 Stream Processors||336 Stream Processors||960 Stream processing units||800 Stream processing units||720 Stream processing units|
|Stream Processor Clock||1800MHz||1566MHz||1644MHz||1350MHz||775MHz||850MHz||700MHz|
|Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units||32||32||64||56||48||40||36|
|Raster Operator units (ROP)||24||16||32||24||32||16||16|
|Memory Clock||4100MHz GDDR5||3608MHz GDDR5||4008MHz GDDR5||3600MHz GDDR5||4000MHz GDDR5||4800MHz GDDR5||4600MHz GDDR5|
|DDR Memory Bus||192-bit||128-bit||256-bit||192 / 256-bit||256-bit||128-bit||128-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth||98.5GB/s||57.7GB/s||128GB/s||86.4 / 115.2GB/s||128GB/s||76.8GB/s||73.6GB/s|
|PCI Express Interface||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16|
|Molex Power Connectors||1 x 6-pin||1 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin||1 x 6-pin||1 x 6-pin||1 x 6-pin|
|Multi GPU Technology||SLI||SLI||SLI||SLI||CrossFireX||CrossFireX||CrossFireX|
|DVI Output Support||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||1 x Single-Link, 1 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link|
|HDMI||1 (mini-HDMI)||1 (mini-HDMI)||1 (mini-HDMI)||1 (mini-HDMI)||1||1||1|
|DisplayPort||None||None||None||None||1 (DisplayPort 1.2)||1||1|
|HDCP Output Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Street Price||Launch price: US$159||~US$129||~US$249||~US$199||~US$189||~US$139||~US$109|
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