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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 vs GeForce GT 310

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 makes use of a 80 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 540 MHz. The DDR2 memory is set to run at a frequency of 400 MHz on this particular card. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce GT 310, which comes with GPU core speed of 589 MHz, and 512 MB of DDR2 memory set to run at 1000 MHz through a 64-bit bus. It also is comprised of 16 SPUs, 8 TAUs, and 4 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GT 310 31 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 47 Watts
Difference: 16 Watts (52%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce GT 310 should in theory be a lot faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 in general. (explain)

GeForce GT 310 16000 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 3200 (25%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 should be much (more or less 83%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GT 310. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 8640 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GT 310 4712 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3928 (83%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 is superior to the GeForce GT 310, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR2 4320 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GT 310 2356 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1964 (83%)

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 GT 310

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 GT 310
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 November 2009
Code Name G84 GT218
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 589 MHz
Memory Speed 800 MHz 2000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 31 watts
Bandwidth 12800 MB/sec 16000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 4712 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 2356 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 16
Texture Mapping Units 16 8
Render Output Units 8 4
Bus Type DDR2 DDR2
Bus Width 128-bit 64-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 260 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.1

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

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock 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 is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - 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 256MB DDR2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GT 310

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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