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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 320

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 features a core clock speed of 540 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 700 MHz. It also features a 128-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 80 nm design. It is comprised of 32 SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 8 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce GT 320, which comes with core speeds of 540 MHz on the GPU, and 790 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 72 SPUs as well as 24 Texture Address Units and 8 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GT 320 43 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 47 Watts
Difference: 4 Watts (9%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the GeForce GT 320 should theoretically be a bit superior to the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)

GeForce GT 320 25280 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 2880 (13%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GT 320 should be much (approximately 50%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3. (explain)

GeForce GT 320 12960 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4320 (50%)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have exactly the same pixel rate, so in theory they should be equally good at at AA, 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 GT 320

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 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 GeForce GT 320
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 February 2010
Code Name G84 GT215
Memory 256 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 540 MHz 540 MHz
Memory Speed 1400 MHz 1580 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 47 watts 43 watts
Bandwidth 22400 MB/sec 25280 MB/sec
Texel Rate 8640 Mtexels/sec 12960 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 4320 Mpixels/sec 4320 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 32 72
Texture Mapping Units 16 24
Render Output Units 8 8
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Fab Process 80 nm 40 nm
Transistors 289 million 727 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses 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 higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GT 320

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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