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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM works at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4870 1GB, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 750 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 150 Watts
Difference: 103 Watts (219%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4870 1GB should perform much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 1GB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (800%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 1GB will be a lot (more or less 247%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 1GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 21360 (247%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4870 1GB is superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 1GB 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 1GB

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 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name G84 RV770 XT
Memory 512 MB 1024 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 maximum amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of 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 a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

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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