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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 3850 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 has a GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 memory runs at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3850 256MB, which comes with core clock speeds of 668 MHz on the GPU, and 828 MHz on the 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 75 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (60%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3850 256MB should be 314% faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 52992 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 40192 (314%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB will be quite a bit (more or less 24%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 2048 (24%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB will be quite a bit (more or less 147%) better at AA than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and also capable of handling higher resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6368 (147%)

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 3850 256MB

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 3850 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G84 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 668 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1656 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 75 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 52992 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 10688 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 10688 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 largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card 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 applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially 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 3850 256MB

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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