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GeForce 8600 GTS vs Radeon HD 3470 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 675 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a speed of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3470 256MB, which features GPU clock speed of 800 MHz, and 256 MB of DDR2 RAM running at 950 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 40(8x5) Stream Processors, 4 Texture Address Units, and 4 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce 8600 GTS should in theory be a little bit superior to 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 a lot (about 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 a lot (about 69%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 3470 256MB, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions better. (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 (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to 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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