Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB vs GeForce GTS 250 1GB
IntroThe GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB features a clock frequency of 650 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 65/55 nm design. It is comprised of 96 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.
Compare those specifications to the GeForce GTS 250 1GB, which features a core clock frequency of 738 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1100 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 65/55 nm design. It is comprised of 128 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Performance-wise, the GeForce GTS 250 1GB should theoretically be a lot better than the GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GTS 250 1GB is a lot (more or less 51%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB. (explain)
Pixel RateIf running with a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTS 250 1GB is the winner, though only just barely. (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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.