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GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 vs GeForce 9400 GT 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 features a GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and the 1024 MB of DDR2 RAM 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 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 is set to run at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 16 SPUs along with 8 TAUs and 4 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 47 Watts
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 50 Watts
Difference: 3 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have exactly the same bandwidth, so in theory they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 should be a lot (more or less 96%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 4400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4240 (96%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 will be a lot (about 96%) faster with regards to AA than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB, and able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 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 1GB 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 1GB DDR2 GeForce 9400 GT 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 August 2008
Code Name G84 G96a
Memory 1024 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 maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high 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 by the core clock 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 applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock 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 rate also depends on quite a few 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

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 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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