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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 320

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 has a GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 700 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 32 Stream Processors, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the GeForce GT 320, which features a core clock speed of 540 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 790 MHz. It also features a 128-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 72 SPUs, 24 TAUs, and 8 Raster Operation 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

Performance-wise, the GeForce GT 320 should in theory be a bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce GT 320 is quite a bit (more or less 50%) better at anisotropic filtering 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 theoretically they should perform equally good at at FSAA, 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 max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better 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 per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max 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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