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GeForce 9600 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB makes use of a 65/55 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 650 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a speed of 900 MHz on this card. It features 64 SPUs as well as 32 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6950, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this model. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6950 should perform much faster 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 should be much (about 238%) better at anisotropic 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 will be a lot (approximately 146%) better at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, and 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

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

Model GeForce 9600 GT 1GB Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Feb 2008 December 2010
Code Name G94a/b Cayman Pro
Fab Process 65/55 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 650 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed 1625 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 900 MHz (1800 MHz effective) 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 64 1408
Texture Mapping Units 32 88
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 95 watts 200 watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 20800 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10400 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the 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 per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number 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 processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure 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 outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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