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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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 makes use of a 80 nm design. It is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5970, which has GPU clock speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1600 Stream Processors, 160 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 247 Watts (526%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 5970 should theoretically be a lot superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 243200 (1900%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 will be quite a bit (approximately 2585%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 223360 (2585%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be quite a bit (more or less 2048%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and able to handle higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 88480 (2048%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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 512MB DDR2 Radeon HD 5970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 November 2009
Code Name G84 Hemlock XT
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 540 MHz 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 800 MHz 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 16 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 8 64 (x2)
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR5
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 processed in one second. This 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 card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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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