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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 has a core clock speed of 540 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 700 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is made up of 32 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, which has a GPU core clock speed of 540 MHz, and 512 MB of DDR2 memory set to run at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 32 Stream Processors, 16 TAUs, and 8 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Both cards have the same power consumption.

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3, in theory, should be quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 overall. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 9600 (75%)

Texel Rate

Both cards have the exact same texel fill rate, so theoretically they should perform equally good at at anisotropic filtering. (explain)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have the exact same pixel rate, so theoretically they should perform equally good at at FSAA, and be able to handle the same resolutions. (explain)

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 GDDR3

Amazon.com

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

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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 256MB GDDR3 GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 April 2007
Code Name G84 G84
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 540 MHz
Memory Speed 1400 MHz 800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 47 watts
Bandwidth 22400 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 8640 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 4320 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 32
Texture Mapping Units 16 16
Render Output Units 8 8
Bus Type GDDR3 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 80 nm
Transistors 289 million 289 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially 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 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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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