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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs GeForce 9800 GX2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 comes with a clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory frequency of 400 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the GeForce 9800 GX2, which features a core clock speed of 600 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It is comprised of 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 150 Watts (319%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically be much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 115200 (900%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be much (more or less 789%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 68160 (789%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be much (about 344%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 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 DDR2

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 DDR2 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 800 MHz 2000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 197 watts
Bandwidth 12800 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 DDR2 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 max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better 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 per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its 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 drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

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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