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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 3870 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 has a clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 1GB, which has a core clock speed of 775 MHz and a GDDR4 memory speed of 1125 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 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 1GB 106 Watts
Difference: 59 Watts (126%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 1GB, in theory, should be a lot faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 72000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 59200 (463%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 1GB will be a lot (about 44%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 12400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3760 (44%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 1GB is superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 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 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 3870 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G84 RV670 XT
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 2250 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 72000 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 GDDR4
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 (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 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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