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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 700 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 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3, which comes with core speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 800 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator 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

In theory, the GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 should be 14% faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall, due to its higher data rate. (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 will be a bit (more or less 2%) more effective at texture 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

The GeForce 9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 will be just a bit (about 2%) faster with regards to AA than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount 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 amount of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max 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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