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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 features a clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also features a 128-bit bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6970, which features clock speeds of 880 MHz on the GPU, and 1375 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1536 SPUs along with 96 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 203 Watts (432%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6970 should theoretically be much better than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 163200 (1275%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 should be a lot (approximately 878%) better at AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 75840 (878%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 should be a lot (more or less 552%) better at FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2, and also able to handle higher resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 23840 (552%)

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 GT 256MB DDR2

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 GT 256MB DDR2 Radeon HD 6970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 December 2010
Code Name G84 Cayman XT
Memory 256 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 880 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 176000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 84480 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 28160 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 1536
Texture Mapping Units 16 96
Render Output Units 8 32
Bus Type DDR2 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 maximum amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one 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 number is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

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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