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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 vs GeForce GT 320

Intro

The GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 uses a 80 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 540 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a speed of 700 MHz on this specific model. It features 32 SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 8 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce GT 320, which has a GPU core clock speed of 540 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM running at 790 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 72 SPUs, 24 Texture Address Units, and 8 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GT 320 43 Watts
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 47 Watts
Difference: 4 Watts (9%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce GT 320 should theoretically perform a bit faster than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 overall. (explain)

GeForce GT 320 25280 MB/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 22400 MB/sec
Difference: 2880 (13%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GT 320 will be much (about 50%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3. (explain)

GeForce GT 320 12960 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8600 GT 512MB GDDR3 8640 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4320 (50%)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have the exact same pixel rate, so in theory they should be equally good at at FSAA, and be able to handle the same screen 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 512MB 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 512MB GDDR3 GeForce GT 320
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year April 2007 February 2010
Code Name G84 GT215
Memory 512 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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card 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 processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. 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 quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 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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