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GeForce 8600 GTS vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GTS uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 675 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this model. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6970, which comes with core speeds of 880 MHz on the GPU, and 1375 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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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

The Radeon HD 6970, in theory, should perform quite a bit 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 should be quite a bit (about 682%) better at texture 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 running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is superior to the GeForce 8600 GTS, by far. (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

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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 max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number 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 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 number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max 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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