Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8400 GS 512MB vs GeForce 9600 GT 1GB
IntroThe GeForce 8400 GS 512MB makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 650 MHz. The DDR2 memory works at a speed of 400 MHz on this card. It features 16 SPUs along with 8 Texture Address Units and 4 ROPs.
Compare those specs to the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, which comes with a core clock speed of 650 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 65/55 nm design. It features 64 SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.
(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
As far as performance goes, the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB should in theory be quite a bit superior to the GeForce 8400 GS 512MB overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce 9600 GT 1GB should be a lot (approximately 300%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8400 GS 512MB. (explain)
Pixel RateThe GeForce 9600 GT 1GB will be much (more or less 300%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8400 GS 512MB, and should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, 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 worked out 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 processed in a second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card 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 Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also 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 of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.