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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce 8800 GT 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory runs at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB, which makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a speed of 700 MHz on this card. It features 112 SPUs as well as 56 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
GeForce 8800 GT 256MB 105 Watts
Difference: 58 Watts (123%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB should be much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general. (explain)

GeForce 8800 GT 256MB 44800 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 32000 (250%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8800 GT 256MB will be quite a bit (more or less 289%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

GeForce 8800 GT 256MB 33600 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 24960 (289%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8800 GT 256MB should be a lot (about 122%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

GeForce 8800 GT 256MB 9600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5280 (122%)

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 8800 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 8800 GT 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 Dec 2007
Code Name G84 G92
Memory 512 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 600 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1400 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 105 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 44800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 33600 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 9600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 112
Texture Mapping Units 16 56
Render Output Units 8 16
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 65 nm
Transistors 289 million 754 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16 2.0
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 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, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This 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 card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 8800 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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