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GeForce 9400 GT 256MB vs GeForce 9800 GX2

Intro

The GeForce 9400 GT 256MB comes with a GPU core clock speed of 550 MHz, and the 256 MB of GDDR2 RAM runs at 400 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also features 16 SPUs, 8 Texture Address Units, and 4 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the GeForce 9800 GX2, which comes with core clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 50 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 147 Watts (294%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB in general. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 115200 (900%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be much (more or less 1645%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 4400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 72400 (1645%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be much (approximately 773%) faster with regards to AA than the GeForce 9400 GT 256MB, and also will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9400 GT 256MB 2200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 17000 (773%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 9400 GT 256MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

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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 9400 GT 256MB GeForce 9800 GX2
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year August 2008 Mar 2008
Code Name G96a G92
Memory 256 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 550 MHz 600 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 800 MHz 2000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 50 watts 197 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 4400 Mtexels/sec 76800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 2200 Mpixels/sec 19200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 16 128 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 8 64 (x2)
Render Output Units 4 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR2 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit (x2)
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 max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9400 GT 256MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce 9800 GX2

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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