Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce GT 430 (OEM)
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM works at a frequency of 400 MHz on this model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare those specs to the GeForce GT 430 (OEM), which features clock speeds of 700 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 96 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 4 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
In theory, the GeForce GT 430 (OEM) should perform quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GT 430 (OEM) is a lot (about 30%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)
Pixel RateIf using a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 is the winner, by far. (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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.