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GeForce 8500 GT vs GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Intro

The GeForce 8500 GT has a clock speed of 450 MHz and a DDR2 memory frequency of 400 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 80 nm design. It is comprised of 16 SPUs, 8 TAUs, and 4 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2, which has GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and 256 MB of DDR2 memory running at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8500 GT 45 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 2 Watts (4%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 will be much (approximately 140%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8500 GT. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8500 GT 3600 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 5040 (140%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 should be a lot (approximately 140%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8500 GT, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8500 GT 1800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2520 (140%)

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 8500 GT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB 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 8500 GT GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 April 2007
Code Name G86 G84
Memory 512 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 450 MHz 540 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 45 watts 47 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 3600 Mtexels/sec 8640 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 1800 Mpixels/sec 4320 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 16 32
Texture Mapping Units 8 16
Render Output Units 4 8
Bus Type DDR2 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 80 nm
Transistors 210 million 289 million
Bus PCIe x16, PCI, PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR 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 AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card 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 number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. 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 quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8500 GT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB 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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