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GeForce 8600 GTS vs Radeon HD 3470 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS features a GPU clock speed of 675 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 32 Stream Processors, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3470 512MB, which comes with a clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 950 MHz. It also features a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 40(8x5) SPUs, 4 Texture Address Units, and 4 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 8600 GTS should theoretically be a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 3470 512MB overall. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GTS 32000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3470 512MB 30400 MB/sec
Difference: 1600 (5%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GTS is a lot (more or less 238%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3470 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GTS 10800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3470 512MB 3200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7600 (238%)

Pixel Rate

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GTS is the winner, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GTS 5400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3470 512MB 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 512MB

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 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 2008
Code Name G84 RV620 PRO
Memory 512 MB 512 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 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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3470 512MB

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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