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GeForce 8600 GTS vs Radeon HD 3470 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS features a GPU core speed of 675 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3470 256MB, which comes with core clock speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 950 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 40(8x5) SPUs along with 4 Texture Address Units and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce 8600 GTS should be a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 3470 256MB overall. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GTS 32000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3470 256MB 30400 MB/sec
Difference: 1600 (5%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GTS should be much (more or less 238%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3470 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GTS 10800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3470 256MB 3200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7600 (238%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GTS is quite a bit (more or less 69%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 3470 256MB, and also able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GTS 5400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3470 256MB 3200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2200 (69%)

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 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3470 256MB

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 GTS Radeon HD 3470 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 2008
Code Name G84 RV620 PRO
Memory 512 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 675 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz 1900 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 32000 MB/sec 30400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10800 Mtexels/sec 3200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 5400 Mpixels/sec 3200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 40(8x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 4
Render Output Units 8 4
Bus Type GDDR3 DDR2
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 data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core 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 in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can 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 card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3470 256MB

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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