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GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 vs GeForce 9800 GX2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 has a core clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit bus, and uses a 80 nm design. It features 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation 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 RAM works at a speed of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 128 SPUs as well as 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 1GB DDR2 47 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 150 Watts (319%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should in theory be quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 overall. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 115200 (900%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be a lot (approximately 789%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 68160 (789%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is a lot (approximately 344%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 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 1GB 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 1GB DDR2 GeForce 9800 GX2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 Mar 2008
Code Name G84 G92
Memory 1024 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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 1GB 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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