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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 vs GeForce 9800 GX2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 700 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the GeForce 9800 GX2, which comes with GPU core speed of 600 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 128 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 47 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 150 Watts (319%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should perform much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 105600 (471%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is quite a bit (about 789%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 68160 (789%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is quite a bit (more or less 344%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3, and capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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 512MB 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 512MB GDDR3 GeForce 9800 GX2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 Mar 2008
Code Name G84 G92
Memory 512 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 maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, 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 can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as 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, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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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