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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti

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Higher clock speed 900 MHz vs 602 MHz Around 50% higher clock speed
Higher effective memory clock speed 4,104 MHz vs 2,214 MHz More than 85% higher effective memory clock speed
Slightly better PassMark score 1,926 vs 1,197 More than 60% better PassMark score
Significantly better sky diver factor score 137.07 vs 1.03 Around 133x better sky diver factor score
Significantly lower TDP 116W vs 236W 2x lower TDP
Front view of GeForce GTX 280

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GTX 280

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Higher memory bandwidth 141.7 GB/s vs 98.5 GB/s Around 45% higher memory bandwidth
More texture mapping units 80 vs 32 48 more texture mapping units
Higher pixel rate 19.26 GPixel/s vs 7.2 GPixel/s Around 2.8x higher pixel rate
Slightly higher texture rate 48.2 GTexel/s vs 28.8 GTexel/s More than 65% higher texture rate
More render output processors 32 vs 24 8 more render output processors
Wider memory bus 512 bit vs 192 bit Around 2.8x wider memory bus

Benchmarks Real world tests of GeForce GTX 550 Ti vs 280

PassMark Industry standard benchmark for overall graphics card performanceData courtesy Passmark

T-Rex (GFXBench 3.0) Data courtesy CompuBench

Sky Diver Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Cloud Gate Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Reviews Word on the street

GeForce GTX 550 Ti  vs 280 

2D IdleVideo Playback3D PerformanceCore Clock300 MHz400 MHz700 MHzMemory Clock100 MHz300 MHz1150 MHzShader Clock600 MHz800 MHz1400 MHzGPU Voltage1.03 V1.06 V1.18 VThe load detection is not dependant on 3D fullscreen, but on actual GPU usage.
GeForce GTX 280

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