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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 has a GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 RAM is set to run at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 32 Stream Processors, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3690/3830, which has GPU clock speed of 668 MHz, and 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM set to run at 828 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3690/3830 should perform much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general. (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 AF 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 a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3690/3830 is a better choice, and very much so. (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 maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, 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 most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to 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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