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GeForce 8600 GTS vs GeForce GTS 250 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 675 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the GeForce GTS 250 1GB, which features core speeds of 738 MHz on the GPU, and 1100 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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

Performance-wise, the GeForce GTS 250 1GB should theoretically be quite a bit superior to 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 will be much (approximately 337%) faster with regards to anisotropic 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

The GeForce GTS 250 1GB should be much (approximately 119%) better at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GTS, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (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 largest amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 can be processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video 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 that the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one 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 - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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