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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 3850 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 comes with a core clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory frequency of 400 MHz. It also features a 128-bit bus, and uses a 80 nm design. It is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3850 1GB, which features GPU core speed of 668 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM set to run at 828 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 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 1GB 75 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (60%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 3850 1GB should be quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 1GB 52992 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 40192 (314%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 1GB is a lot (about 24%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 1GB 10688 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 2048 (24%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3850 1GB is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 1GB 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 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 3850 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G84 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB 1024 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 largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 processed per 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 higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out 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 outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory 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 3850 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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