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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 320

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a frequency of 700 MHz on this model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the GeForce GT 320, which comes with clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 790 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 72 SPUs along with 24 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GT 320 43 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 47 Watts
Difference: 4 Watts (9%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce GT 320 should in theory be just a bit better than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)

GeForce GT 320 25280 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 2880 (13%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GT 320 is quite a bit (more or less 50%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)

GeForce GT 320 12960 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4320 (50%)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have exactly the same pixel rate, so theoretically they should perform equally good at at AA, and be capable of handling the same screen resolutions. (explain)

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 GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GT 320

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 GDDR3 GeForce GT 320
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 February 2010
Code Name G84 GT215
Memory 256 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 540 MHz
Memory Speed 1400 MHz 1580 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 43 watts
Bandwidth 22400 MB/sec 25280 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 12960 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 4320 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 72
Texture Mapping Units 16 24
Render Output Units 8 8
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 727 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.3

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also 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 of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GT 320

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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