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GeForce 9600 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB comes with a core clock frequency of 650 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 65/55 nm design. It is made up of 64 SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6950, which features a core clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 95 Watts
Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 105 Watts (111%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6950 should theoretically be quite a bit better than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (178%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 is much (approximately 238%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 20800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 49600 (238%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 should be much (approximately 146%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 10400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 15200 (146%)

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 9600 GT 1GB

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 6950

Amazon.com

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 9600 GT 1GB Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Feb 2008 December 2010
Code Name G94a/b Cayman Pro
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 650 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 95 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 20800 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10400 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 64 1408
Texture Mapping Units 32 88
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65/55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 505 million 2640 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 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 data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, 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 worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock 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 applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory in one 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 - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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