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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 has a GPU clock speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 RAM runs at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 3850 256MB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a frequency of 828 MHz on this specific model. 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 3850 256MB 75 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (60%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB should in theory be much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general. (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 is quite a bit (about 24%) better at texture 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

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3850 256MB is superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, by a large margin. (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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across 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 type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher 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 are applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max 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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