Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 430 1GB
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 has 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 features 32 Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.
Compare those specs to the GeForce GT 430 1GB, which comes with a core clock frequency of 700 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 96 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 4 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
The GeForce GT 430 1GB, in theory, should be much faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 in general. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GT 430 1GB will be a lot (about 30%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)
Pixel RateThe GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 should be much (approximately 54%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the GeForce GT 430 1GB, and able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (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 information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number 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 card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.