Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 430 1GB
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 features clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 700 MHz on the 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.
Compare those specifications to the GeForce GT 430 1GB, which uses a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 700 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a speed of 900 MHz on this card. It features 96 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 4 ROPs.
(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GT 430 1GB should perform a lot faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 in general. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GT 430 1GB should be a lot (more or less 30%) more effective at AF 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 a better choice, by a large margin. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.