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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs GeForce GT 210

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 comes with a clock frequency of 540 MHz and a DDR2 memory speed of 400 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 80 nm design. It is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the GeForce GT 210, which features a clock speed of 589 MHz and a DDR3 memory speed of 800 MHz. It also uses a 64-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 16 SPUs, 8 TAUs, and 4 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GT 210 31 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 16 Watts (52%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same bandwidth, so in theory they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is a lot (about 83%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GT 210. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GT 210 4712 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3928 (83%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GT 210 2356 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1964 (83%)

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.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GT 210

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

Specifications

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Model GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 GeForce GT 210
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 October 2009
Code Name G84 GT218
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 589 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 31 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 4712 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 2356 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 16
Texture Mapping Units 16 8
Render Output Units 8 4
Bus Type DDR2 DDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 64-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 260 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 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 high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GT 210

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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