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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce GT 310

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 comes with a clock speed of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory frequency of 400 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 80 nm design. It is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the GeForce GT 310, which makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 589 MHz. The DDR2 RAM works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this specific model. It features 16 SPUs along with 8 Texture Address Units and 4 ROPs.

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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

The GeForce GT 310 should in theory perform much 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 should be a lot (about 83%) more effective at AF 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

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 is the winner, and very much so. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach 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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