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

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 comes with a GPU clock speed of 540 MHz, and the 256 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 700 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, which comes with core speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs as well as 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

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 should be much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (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 perform equally good at at anisotropic filtering. (explain)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have exactly the same pixel fill rate, so in theory they should be equally good at at AA, and be capable of handling the same 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

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 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 maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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