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GeForce 8500 GT vs GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Intro

The GeForce 8500 GT has a GPU core clock speed of 450 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 memory is set to run at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 16 SPUs, 8 TAUs, and 4 ROPs.

Compare that to the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2, which makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory is set to run at a speed of 400 MHz on this specific card. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

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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 exactly the same bandwidth, so theoretically they should have the same performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 will be quite a bit (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

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is the winner, by a large margin. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that 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 amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum 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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