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GeForce 8600 GTS vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS has a GPU core clock speed of 675 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6950, which has a clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GTS 75 Watts
Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 125 Watts (167%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6950 should in theory be quite a bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GTS in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 32000 MB/sec
Difference: 128000 (400%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 will be a lot (about 552%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8600 GTS. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 10800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 59600 (552%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6950 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 5400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 20200 (374%)

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 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950

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 GTS Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 December 2010
Code Name G84 Cayman Pro
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 675 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 32000 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10800 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 5400 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 1408
Texture Mapping Units 16 88
Render Output Units 8 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 2640 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated 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 ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 most pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950

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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