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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory works at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5850, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Difference: 104 Watts (221%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 5850 should perform much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 115200 (900%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 is a lot (more or less 504%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 43560 (504%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 is quite a bit (more or less 437%) better at FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and also will be capable of handling higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 18880 (437%)

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 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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 GT 512MB DDR2 Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 September 30, 2009
Code Name G84 Cypress PRO
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 725 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 72
Render Output Units 8 32
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR5
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 2154 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 MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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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