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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 features a core clock frequency of 540 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 700 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit bus, and uses a 80 nm design. It features 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3, which features a clock speed of 550 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 800 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 47 Watts
GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 50 Watts
Difference: 3 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 should in theory perform a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)

GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 25600 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 3200 (14%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 should be a little bit (more or less 2%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)

GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 160 (2%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 is the winner, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 80 (2%)

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 GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3

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 GDDR3 GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 July 2008
Code Name G84 G96b
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 1400 MHz 1600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 50 watts
Bandwidth 22400 MB/sec 25600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 8800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 4400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 32
Texture Mapping Units 16 16
Render Output Units 8 8
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 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 data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher 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 maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3

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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