Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 9600 GT 512MB vs GeForce 9800 GX2
IntroThe GeForce 9600 GT 512MB features core speeds of 650 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 64 SPUs along with 32 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare that to the GeForce 9800 GX2, which has a GPU core clock speed of 600 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 128 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should be 122% faster than the GeForce 9600 GT 512MB overall, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce 9800 GX2 is much (about 269%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce 9600 GT 512MB. (explain)
Pixel RateIf using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is the winner, by a large margin. (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.
One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.
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 largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core 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 maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.