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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 has clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6970, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this model. It features 1536 SPUs along with 96 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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 is quite a bit (approximately 878%) better at anisotropic filtering 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

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is a better choice, by far. (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 largest amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core 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 a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max 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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