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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce 9400 GT 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 has clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB, which has core clock speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 256 MB of GDDR2 memory. It features 16 SPUs as well as 8 Texture Address Units and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 50 Watts
Difference: 3 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 is quite a bit (about 96%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 4400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4240 (96%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 will be quite a bit (about 96%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB, and will be capable of handling higher resolutions better. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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 512MB 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 512MB DDR2 GeForce 9400 GT 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 August 2008
Code Name G84 G96a
Memory 512 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: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - 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 GT 512MB 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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