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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 3690/3830

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM works at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3690/3830, which has a clock frequency 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 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 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Radeon HD 3690/3830 75 Watts
Difference: 28 Watts (60%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 3690/3830 should theoretically be quite a bit better than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 26496 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 13696 (107%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3690/3830 should be a lot (more or less 24%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 10688 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 2048 (24%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3690/3830 is superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 10688 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 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 DDR2

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 DDR2 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 800 MHz 1656 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 75 watts
Bandwidth 12800 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 DDR2 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 data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 can be processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

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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