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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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Much higher clock speed 900 MHz vs 650 MHz Around 40% higher clock speed
Higher effective memory clock speed 4,104 MHz vs 3,400 MHz More than 20% higher effective memory clock speed
Higher memory clock speed 1,026 MHz vs 850 MHz More than 20% higher memory clock speed
Lower TDP 116W vs 150W Around 25% lower TDP
Front view of GeForce GTX 460

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460

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More render output processors 32 vs 24 8 more render output processors
More texture mapping units 56 vs 32 24 more texture mapping units
Wider memory bus 256 bit vs 192 bit Around 35% wider memory bus

Features Key features of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti  vs 460 

memory bandwidth Rate at which data can be read from or stored in onboard memory

GeForce GTX 550 Ti
98.5 GB/s
GeForce GTX 460
108.8 GB/s
While NVIDIA perfected its Fermi architecture with the GeForce 500 Series allowing for higher clock speeds, it is also coming at higher power draw for the GTX 550 Ti.
GeForce GTX 550 Ti | by techPowerUp! (Mar, 2011)

pixel rate Number of pixels a graphics card can render to the screen every second

GeForce GTX 550 Ti
7.2 GPixel/s
GeForce GTX 460
9.1 GPixel/s
Mixed density memory chips help increase performance.
GeForce GTX 550 Ti | by techPowerUp! (Mar, 2011)

texture rate Speed at which a graphics card can perform texture mapping

GeForce GTX 550 Ti
28.8 GTexel/s
GeForce GTX 460
36.4 GTexel/s
Then when they decide to go big with 1920x1200 or 1920x1080, adding a second GTX 550 Ti in SLI should give them high-end performance that lets them play anything at HD resolutions.
GeForce GTX 550 Ti | by techPowerUp! (Mar, 2011)

floating point performance How fast the gpu can crunch numbers

GeForce GTX 550 Ti
691.2 GFLOPS
GeForce GTX 460
873.6 GFLOPS

shading units Subcomponents of the gpu, these run in parallel to enable fast pixel shading

To accomplish this task, the GTX 550 Ti is based on new 40 nm GF116 silicon, which packs 192 shader cores, and a 192-bit GDDR5 interface.
GeForce GTX 550 Ti | by techPowerUp! (Mar, 2011)

texture mapping units Built into each gpu, these resize and rotate bitmaps for texturing scenes

Reviews Word on the street

GeForce GTX 550 Ti  vs 460 

8.8
9.0
If you read our other GeForce GTX 460 reviews today you will have noticed that NVIDIA's reference design cooler is very quiet.
GeForce GTX 460

Specifications Full list of technical specs

gpu

GeForce GTX 550 Ti  vs
460 
GPU brand Nvidia Nvidia
GPU name GF116 GF104
Market Desktop Desktop
Clock speed 900 MHz 650 MHz
Is dual GPU No No
Reference card None None

raw performance

Shading units 192 336
Texture mapping units 32 56
Render output processors 24 32
Pixel rate 7.2 GPixel/s 9.1 GPixel/s
Texture rate 28.8 GTexel/s 36.4 GTexel/s
Floating-point performance 691.2 GFLOPS 873.6 GFLOPS

memory

GeForce GTX 550 Ti  vs
460 
Memory clock speed 1,026 MHz 850 MHz
Effective memory clock speed 4,104 MHz 3,400 MHz
Memory bus 192 bit 256 bit
Memory 1,024 MB 1,024 MB
Memory type GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory bandwidth 98.5 GB/s 108.8 GB/s

noise and power

TDP 116W 150W

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