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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a speed of 700 MHz on this card. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, which features core clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 RAM. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Both cards have the same power consumption.

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 should in theory be a lot superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 9600 (75%)

Texel Rate

Both cards have exactly the same texel rate, so theoretically they should be equally good at at anisotropic filtering. (explain)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have exactly the same pixel fill rate, so theoretically they should perform equally good at at FSAA, and be able to handle the same screen resolutions. (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.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3

Amazon.com

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

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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 8600 GT 512MB DDR2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 April 2007
Code Name G84 G84
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 540 MHz
Memory Speed 1400 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 47 watts
Bandwidth 22400 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 8640 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 4320 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 32
Texture Mapping Units 16 16
Render Output Units 8 8
Bus Type GDDR3 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 80 nm
Transistors 289 million 289 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses 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, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at 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 graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

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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