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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce GT 310

Intro

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

Compare that to the GeForce GT 310, which makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 589 MHz. The DDR2 RAM works at a speed of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 16 SPUs along with 8 TAUs 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

As far as performance goes, the GeForce GT 310 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to 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 (approximately 83%) more effective at anisotropic 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 a lot (about 83%) more effective at AA than the GeForce GT 310, and able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (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 data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory 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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