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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4790

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM runs at a frequency of 400 MHz on this specific model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4790, which comes with a clock frequency of 600 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 800 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 640(128x5) SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4790 will be 700% quicker than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 4790 102400 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 89600 (700%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4790 will be a lot (more or less 122%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 4790 19200 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 10560 (122%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4790 is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 4790 9600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5280 (122%)

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 4790

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 4790
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 2009
Code Name G84 RV790
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 600 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 3200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 102400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 19200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 9600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 640(128x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 32
Render Output Units 8 16
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR5
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 nm
Transistors 289 million 959 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 (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, the result should 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 anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - 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 4790

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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