Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 8500 GT vs GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2
IntroThe GeForce 8500 GT uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 450 MHz. The DDR2 memory works at a frequency of 400 MHz on this specific model. It features 16 SPUs as well as 8 TAUs and 4 ROPs.
Compare those specs to the GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2, which has core speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 400 MHz on the 1024 MB of DDR2 memory. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so in theory they should have identical performance. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 is a lot (about 140%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8500 GT. (explain)
Pixel RateIf using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 1GB DDR2 is the winner, and very much so. (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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the 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 amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a 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 - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.