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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs GeForce 9400 GT 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 has a GPU core clock speed of 540 MHz, and the 256 MB of DDR2 memory is set to run at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB, which uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 550 MHz. The GDDR2 memory is set to run at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 16 SPUs along with 8 Texture Address Units and 4 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 50 Watts
Difference: 3 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is much (about 96%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 4400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4240 (96%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 2200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2120 (96%)

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 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9400 GT 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 GT 256MB DDR2 GeForce 9400 GT 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 August 2008
Code Name G84 G96a
Memory 256 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 50 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 4400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 2200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 16
Texture Mapping Units 16 8
Render Output Units 8 4
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 65 nm
Transistors 289 million 314 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16 2.0, PCI
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface 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 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, 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 can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, 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 write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill 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 maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9400 GT 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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