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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 features core clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 700 MHz on the 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3690/3830, which has a GPU core clock speed of 668 MHz, and 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM running at 828 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 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 256MB GDDR3 47 Watts
Radeon HD 3690/3830 75 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (60%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3690/3830 should in theory perform a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 in general. (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 will be much (about 24%) faster with regards to 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 is much (about 147%) more effective at FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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 max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could 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 Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel 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 ability to reach 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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