Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8400 GS 512MB vs GeForce 8600 GS (OEM)
IntroThe GeForce 8400 GS 512MB has core clock speeds of 650 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 512 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 16 SPUs along with 8 TAUs and 4 ROPs.
Compare those specifications to the GeForce 8600 GS (OEM), which uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory works at a speed of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) should perform a lot faster than the GeForce 8400 GS 512MB in general. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) should be much (more or less 66%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 8400 GS 512MB. (explain)
Pixel RateIf running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GS (OEM) is a better choice, and very much so. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 most pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.