Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8600 GTS vs GeForce GTX 570
IntroThe GeForce 8600 GTS uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 675 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this specific card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.
Compare those specifications to the GeForce GTX 570, which features core clock speeds of 732 MHz on the GPU, and 950 MHz on the 1280 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 480 SPUs along with 60 TAUs and 40 Rasterization Operator Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 570 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GTS overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GTX 570 is much (about 307%) better at AF than the GeForce 8600 GTS. (explain)
Pixel RateThe GeForce GTX 570 will be a lot (more or less 442%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GTS, and should be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the 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 most pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory in a 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 drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.