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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 vs Radeon HD 3690/3830

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a speed of 700 MHz on this model. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3690/3830, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a frequency 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 GDDR3 47 Watts
Radeon HD 3690/3830 75 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (60%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3690/3830 should theoretically perform a little bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 26496 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 4096 (18%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3690/3830 should be a lot (about 24%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 10688 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 2048 (24%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3690/3830 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 10688 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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 512MB 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 512MB GDDR3 Radeon HD 3690/3830
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 2008
Code Name G84 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 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 megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at 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 that the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory per 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 - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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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