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GeForce 8600 GTS vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS comes with core speeds of 675 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6970, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 880 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1536 Stream Processors, 96 TAUs, 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 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 175 Watts (233%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6970 should perform a lot faster than the GeForce 8600 GTS overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 32000 MB/sec
Difference: 144000 (450%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 will be quite a bit (more or less 682%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GTS. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 10800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 73680 (682%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GTS 5400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 22760 (421%)

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

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6970

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 6970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 December 2010
Code Name G84 Cayman XT
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 675 MHz 880 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 32000 MB/sec 176000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10800 Mtexels/sec 84480 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 5400 Mpixels/sec 28160 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 1536
Texture Mapping Units 16 96
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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If 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 high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GTS

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6970

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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