Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce 8800 GT 256MB
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory runs at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare all of that to the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB, which comes with clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 700 MHz on the 256 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 112 SPUs along with 56 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Performance-wise, the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB should in theory be quite a bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce 8800 GT 256MB is a lot (more or less 289%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)
Pixel RateIf running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB is superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and very much so. (explain)
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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number 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 fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.