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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM runs at a frequency of 400 MHz on this card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3850 512MB, which has GPU core speed of 668 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory running at 828 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

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

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3850 512MB is 314% quicker than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 512MB is much (approximately 24%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 512MB should be much (about 147%) better at AA than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and also should be able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 512MB 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 512MB

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 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G84 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB 512 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 (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3850 512MB

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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