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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs GeForce 9500 GT DDR2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 has clock speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR2 RAM. It features 32 SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare all that to the GeForce 9500 GT DDR2, which features clock speeds of 550 MHz on the GPU, and 500 MHz on the 256 MB of DDR2 RAM. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
GeForce 9500 GT DDR2 50 Watts
Difference: 3 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce 9500 GT DDR2 should in theory be quite a bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

GeForce 9500 GT DDR2 16000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 3200 (25%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9500 GT DDR2 should be a little bit (more or less 2%) better at AF than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2. (explain)

GeForce 9500 GT DDR2 8800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 160 (2%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9500 GT DDR2 should be a bit (about 2%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2, and should be able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

GeForce 9500 GT DDR2 4400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 80 (2%)

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 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9500 GT DDR2

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 256MB DDR2 GeForce 9500 GT DDR2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 July 2008
Code Name G84 G96a
Memory 256 MB 256 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 550 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 50 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 16000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 8800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 4400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 32
Texture Mapping Units 16 16
Render Output Units 8 8
Bus Type DDR2 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 65 nm
Transistors 289 million 314 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16 2.0, PCI
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen 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 amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

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

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9500 GT DDR2

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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