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GeForce 8600 GTS vs GeForce 9800 GX2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS comes with core clock speeds of 675 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce 9800 GX2, which comes with GPU core speed of 600 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 128 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GTS 75 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 122 Watts (163%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 9800 GX2 is 300% faster than the GeForce 8600 GTS overall, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 32000 MB/sec
Difference: 96000 (300%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is much (about 611%) better at AF than the GeForce 8600 GTS. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 10800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 66000 (611%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is a better choice, by far. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 5400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 13800 (256%)

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.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 8600 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9800 GX2

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 8600 GTS GeForce 9800 GX2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 Mar 2008
Code Name G84 G92
Memory 512 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 675 MHz 600 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2000 MHz 2000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 197 watts
Bandwidth 32000 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10800 Mtexels/sec 76800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 5400 Mpixels/sec 19200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 128 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 16 64 (x2)
Render Output Units 8 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 80 nm 65 nm
Transistors 289 million 754 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16 2.0
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units 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 applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of 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

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9800 GX2

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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