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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce 9800 GX2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a frequency of 700 MHz on this specific model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the GeForce 9800 GX2, which uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a speed of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 47 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 150 Watts (319%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce 9800 GX2 will be 471% quicker than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 105600 (471%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be quite a bit (approximately 789%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 68160 (789%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be quite a bit (more or less 344%) better at FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3, and should be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 14880 (344%)

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 GT 256MB GDDR3

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 GT 256MB GDDR3 GeForce 9800 GX2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 Mar 2008
Code Name G84 G92
Memory 256 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 540 MHz 600 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1400 MHz 2000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 197 watts
Bandwidth 22400 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 76800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 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 (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3

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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