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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce 9800 GX2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 700 MHz on this specific model. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the GeForce 9800 GX2, which makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this model. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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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

Performance-wise, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is a lot (more or less 789%) faster with regards to 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

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is the winner, by far. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher 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 one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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