Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 430 1GB
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 comes with a GPU core speed of 540 MHz, and the 256 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 700 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.
Compare those specs to the GeForce GT 430 1GB, which has core speeds of 700 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 96 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Performance-wise, the GeForce GT 430 1GB should theoretically be quite a bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GT 430 1GB should be quite a bit (about 30%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)
Pixel RateIf using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 is the winner, 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 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 a second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.