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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4870 2GB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory runs at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4870 2GB, which features a clock speed of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It features 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 2GB 150 Watts
Difference: 103 Watts (219%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 4870 2GB should be quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 2GB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (800%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 2GB is much (about 247%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 2GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 21360 (247%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 2GB should be much (about 178%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and also capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 2GB 12000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 7680 (178%)

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

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 2GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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

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Model GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 Radeon HD 4870 2GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name G84 RV770 XT
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 750 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 3600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 150 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 30000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 12000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 40
Render Output Units 8 16
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR5
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 nm
Transistors 289 million 956 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units 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 also depends on lots of 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.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 2GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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