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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce GT 310

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 comes with a GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 memory runs at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the GeForce GT 310, which comes with GPU core speed of 589 MHz, and 512 MB of DDR2 RAM running at 1000 MHz through a 64-bit bus. It also is comprised of 16 SPUs, 8 Texture Address Units, and 4 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GT 310 31 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 16 Watts (52%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the GeForce GT 310 should perform a lot faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general. (explain)

GeForce GT 310 16000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 3200 (25%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 will be a lot (more or less 83%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce GT 310. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GT 310 4712 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3928 (83%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 is much (about 83%) better at AA than the GeForce GT 310, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GT 310 2356 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1964 (83%)

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.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GT 310

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 DDR2 GeForce GT 310
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 November 2009
Code Name G84 GT218
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 589 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 2000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 31 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 16000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 4712 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 2356 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 16
Texture Mapping Units 16 8
Render Output Units 8 4
Bus Type DDR2 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 64-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 260 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 chip could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GT 310

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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