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GeForce 8600 GTS vs GeForce GTS 250 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS has a core clock speed of 675 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit bus, and uses a 80 nm design. It is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce GTS 250 1GB, which features GPU core speed of 738 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM set to run at 1100 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 128 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

F.E.A.R. 2

Settings: Maximum Quality
AA: 4x
AF: 8x
Resolution: 1920x1200
Test Machine: Unknown (Source)
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 48 FPS
GeForce 8600 GTS 14 FPS
Difference: 34 FPS (243%)

Fallout 3

Settings: Very High Quality
AA: 4x
AF: 8x
Resolution: 1680x1050
Test Machine: Tom's Hardware Charts Test Rig (Source)
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 66 FPS
GeForce 8600 GTS 22 FPS
Difference: 44 FPS (200%)

Left4Dead

Settings: Very High Quality
AA: 4x
AF: 8x
Resolution: 1920x1200
Test Machine: Tom's Hardware Charts Test Rig (Source)
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 56 FPS
GeForce 8600 GTS 24 FPS
Difference: 32 FPS (133%)

GeForce GTS 250 1GB wins

(Based entirely on the benchmarks listed above)

When combining all game benchmark scores on this page together, the GeForce GTS 250 1GB wins overall, by 110 FPS. Please note that we do not have the results of every benchmark ever done for these cards, so the results may differ wildly in different games.

GeForce GTS 250 1GB 170 FPS
GeForce 8600 GTS 60 FPS
Difference: 110 FPS (183%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GTS 75 Watts
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 145 Watts
Difference: 70 Watts (93%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the GeForce GTS 250 1GB should be a lot faster than the GeForce 8600 GTS overall. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 1GB 70400 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 32000 MB/sec
Difference: 38400 (120%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTS 250 1GB should be quite a bit (about 337%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GTS. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 1GB 47232 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 10800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 36432 (337%)

Pixel Rate

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce GTS 250 1GB is the winner, by far. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 1GB 11808 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 5400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6408 (119%)

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

GeForce 8600 GTS

Amazon.com

GeForce GTS 250 1GB

Amazon.com

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

Model GeForce 8600 GTS GeForce GTS 250 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 March 3, 2009
Code Name G84 G92a/b
Fab Process 80 nm 65/55 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16 2.0
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 675 MHz 738 MHz
Shader Speed 1450 MHz 1836 MHz
Memory Speed 1000 MHz (2000 MHz effective) 1100 MHz (2200 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 32 128
Texture Mapping Units 16 64
Render Output Units 8 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.1
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 145 watts
Shader Model 4.0 4.0
Bandwidth 32000 MB/sec 70400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10800 Mtexels/sec 47232 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 5400 Mpixels/sec 11808 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once 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 AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core 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 processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called 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 of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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