Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 430 1GB
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a speed of 700 MHz on this particular model. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.
Compare those specifications to the GeForce GT 430 1GB, which features core clock speeds of 700 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 96 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 4 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GT 430 1GB is 29% faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GT 430 1GB is much (approximately 30%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)
Pixel RateIf running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many 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.