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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 vs GeForce 9600 GT 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 has a GPU core clock speed of 540 MHz, and the 512 MB of DDR2 RAM runs at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 32 Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, which comes with a core clock frequency of 650 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 65/55 nm design. It is made up of 64 SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 47 Watts
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 95 Watts
Difference: 48 Watts (102%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB should be 350% quicker than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 in general, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 57600 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 44800 (350%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB is a lot (more or less 141%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2. (explain)

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 20800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 12160 (141%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB should be much (approximately 141%) better at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 10400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6080 (141%)

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

Check prices at:

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB

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 512MB DDR2 GeForce 9600 GT 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 Feb 2008
Code Name G84 G94a/b
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 650 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 1800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 95 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 57600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 20800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 10400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 64
Texture Mapping Units 16 32
Render Output Units 8 16
Bus Type DDR2 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 65/55 nm
Transistors 289 million 505 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16 2.0
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB

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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