Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GTX 480
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 features a GPU clock speed of 540 MHz, and the 256 MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 700 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.
Compare all that to the GeForce GTX 480, which comes with a core clock speed of 700 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 924 MHz. It also features a 384-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 480 SPUs, 60 Texture Address Units, and 48 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
As far as performance goes, the GeForce GTX 480 should theoretically be quite a bit better than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 in general. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GTX 480 is much (more or less 386%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)
Pixel RateThe GeForce GTX 480 should be much (more or less 678%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3, and also able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (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 (counted in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling 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 the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.