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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 has a core clock frequency of 540 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 700 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3690/3830, which comes with a clock frequency of 668 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 828 MHz. It also features a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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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

In theory, the Radeon HD 3690/3830 should perform a 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%) more effective at 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

The Radeon HD 3690/3830 should be much (about 147%) more effective at AA than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses 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, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out 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 processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on many 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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