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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs Radeon HD 4790

Intro

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

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4790, which has clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 800 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 640(128x5) SPUs as well as 32 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4790 should be quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 4790 102400 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 89600 (700%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4790 will be much (more or less 122%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

Radeon HD 4790 19200 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 10560 (122%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 4790 is much (about 122%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and will be able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 4790 9600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5280 (122%)

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

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Radeon HD 4790

Amazon.com

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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 4790
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2007 2009
Code Name G84 RV790
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 600 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 3200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 102400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 19200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 9600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 640(128x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 32
Render Output Units 8 16
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR5
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 55 nm
Transistors 289 million 959 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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount 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 processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4790

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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