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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 has a core clock speed of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It features 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB, which makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 550 MHz. The GDDR2 memory runs at a speed of 400 MHz on this model. It features 16 SPUs as well as 8 TAUs and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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 in theory they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 will be a lot (about 96%) faster with regards to AF 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 lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is the winner, by far. (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 transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should 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, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, 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 most pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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