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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 320

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 700 MHz on this card. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare that to the GeForce GT 320, which has a core clock frequency of 540 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 790 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 72 SPUs, 24 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

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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 theoretically be a bit better than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 overall. (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%) more effective at texture 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 the exact same pixel fill rate, so theoretically they should be equally good at at AA, and be capable of handling the same 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 (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock 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 applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability 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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