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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 RAM works at a frequency of 400 MHz on this specific card. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, which has GPU core speed of 750 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 150 Watts
Difference: 103 Watts (219%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 4870 512MB is 800% quicker than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (800%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB will be quite a bit (approximately 247%) better at AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 30000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 21360 (247%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4870 512MB is the winner, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 12000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 7680 (178%)

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 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 512MB

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 4870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name G84 RV770 XT
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 750 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 3600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 150 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 30000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 12000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 40
Render Output Units 8 16
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR5
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 nm
Transistors 289 million 956 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - 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 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 512MB

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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