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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 320

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 700 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce GT 320, which comes with core clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 790 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM. 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 512MB GDDR3 47 Watts
Difference: 4 Watts (9%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GT 320 is 13% quicker than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 in general, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce GT 320 25280 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 2880 (13%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GT 320 should be quite a bit (approximately 50%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3. (explain)

GeForce GT 320 12960 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4320 (50%)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have exactly the same pixel fill rate, so in theory they should be equally good at at full screen anti-aliasing, and be able to handle 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 512MB 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 512MB GDDR3 GeForce GT 320
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 February 2010
Code Name G84 GT215
Memory 512 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 maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses 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 are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out 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 outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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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