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GeForce 9400 GT 256MB vs GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB

Intro

The GeForce 9400 GT 256MB uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 550 MHz. The GDDR2 RAM works at a speed of 400 MHz on this specific model. It features 16 SPUs as well as 8 Texture Address Units and 4 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB, which comes with core clock speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 800 MHz on the 384 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 96 SPUs along with 48 Texture Address Units and 12 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 50 Watts
GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB 84 Watts
Difference: 34 Watts (68%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB should be 200% faster than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB 38400 MB/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (200%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB should be much (approximately 500%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 4400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 22000 (500%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB is a better choice, by far. (explain)

GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB 6600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 2200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4400 (200%)

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 9400 GT 256MB

Amazon.com

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GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB

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 9400 GT 256MB GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year August 2008 May 2008
Code Name G96a G92
Memory 256 MB 384 MB
Core Speed 550 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 50 watts 84 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 38400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 4400 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 2200 Mpixels/sec 6600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 16 96
Texture Mapping Units 8 48
Render Output Units 4 12
Bus Type GDDR2 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 192-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 65 nm
Transistors 314 million 754 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0, PCI PCIe x16 2.0
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9400 GT 256MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB

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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