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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM works at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 3850 1GB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a speed of 828 MHz on this particular model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs 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 1GB 75 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (60%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3850 1GB should theoretically 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 should be quite a bit (more or less 24%) faster with regards to texture 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

The Radeon HD 3850 1GB will be a lot (approximately 147%) better at FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and capable of handling higher resolutions while still performing well. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to 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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