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

Intro

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

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 1GB, which comes with core clock speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1125 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs 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 3870 1GB 106 Watts
Difference: 59 Watts (126%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 3870 1GB should be quite a bit 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 is a lot (approximately 44%) better at AF 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 using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 1GB is a better choice, by a large margin. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must 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 AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better 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 maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. 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 ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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