Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce 9500 GT 1GB GDDR3
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 has core speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 700 MHz on the 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.
Compare all of that to the GeForce 9500 GT 1GB GDDR3, which has clock speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 800 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 9500 GT 1GB GDDR3 should perform a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce 9500 GT 1GB GDDR3 is a bit (more or less 2%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)
Pixel RateIf using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 9500 GT 1GB GDDR3 is the winner, but not by far. (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 max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied 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 video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.