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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM is set to run at a speed of 400 MHz on this card. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which features a core clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, 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 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Difference: 59 Watts (126%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB should in theory perform quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 44800 (350%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB should be quite a bit (about 44%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3760 (44%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB should be quite a bit (about 187%) more effective at AA than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8080 (187%)

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 3870 512MB

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 3870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G84 RV670 XT
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 57600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 12400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 12400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 16
Render Output Units 8 16
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 nm
Transistors 289 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number 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 also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 512MB

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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