Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce GTX 285 2GB
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory works at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare those specifications to the GeForce GTX 285 2GB, which features GPU core speed of 648 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR3 memory running at 1242 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also features 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 285 2GB should in theory be much superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GTX 285 2GB is quite a bit (more or less 500%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)
Pixel RateIf using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 285 2GB is a better choice, by far. (explain)
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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.