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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs Radeon HD 3690/3830

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 comes with a GPU core clock speed of 540 MHz, and the 256 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 700 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3690/3830, which features a clock speed of 668 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 828 MHz. It also features a 128-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 47 Watts
Radeon HD 3690/3830 75 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (60%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 3690/3830 should in theory be a small bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 26496 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 4096 (18%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3690/3830 is much (approximately 24%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 10688 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 2048 (24%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3690/3830 will be a lot (more or less 147%) more effective at AA than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3, and also will be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 10688 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 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 256MB GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3690/3830

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 256MB GDDR3 Radeon HD 3690/3830
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 2008
Code Name G84 RV670 PRO
Memory 256 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 668 MHz
Memory Speed 1400 MHz 1656 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 75 watts
Bandwidth 22400 MB/sec 26496 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 GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 nm
Transistors 289 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock 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 also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3690/3830

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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