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 ROPs.
Compare all that to the GeForce GT 430 1GB, which features GPU core speed of 700 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory set to run at 900 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 96 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 4 Raster Operation Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
The GeForce GT 430 1GB, in theory, should be quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GT 430 1GB will be a lot (approximately 30%) more effective at texture 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 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes 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, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.