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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a frequency of 700 MHz on this specific model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3690/3830, which features a GPU core clock speed of 668 MHz, and 256 MB of GDDR3 memory set to run at 828 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, 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 theoretically perform just 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 is 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

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3690/3830 is superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3, by a large margin. (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 largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the 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 the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. 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 rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum 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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