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GeForce 8600 GTS vs GeForce GTS 250 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS features core clock speeds of 675 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the GeForce GTS 250 1GB, which uses a 65/55 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 738 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a frequency of 1100 MHz on this specific card. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units 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

In theory, the GeForce GTS 250 1GB will be 120% faster than the GeForce 8600 GTS overall, because of its greater data rate. (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 a lot (about 337%) faster with regards to 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 a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTS 250 1GB is a better choice, by a large margin. (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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock 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 applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. 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 max fill rate.

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