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What About Nvidia?

HD 2600 & GeForce 8600: No Mid-Range?
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EVGA 8600 GTS and Sparkle 8600 GT

So what about Nvidia? They aren't off the hook either. Looking at only the GeForce 8600 GTS and GT cards, both follow the same logic ATI used with its RV610 and RV630, only within the same numeric sequence. The chart below outlines the core differences between each of the processors in the GeForce 8000 series.

Specification GeForce 8800 GTX GeForce 8800 GTS GeForce 8600 GTS GeForce 8600 GT GeForce 8500 GT GeForce 8400 GS GeForce 8300 GS
Processor G80 G80 G84 G84 G86 G86 G86
Fabrication Process 90 nm 90 nm 80 nm 80 nm 80 nm 80 nm 80 nm
Number of Transistors (millions) 681 681 289 289 210 210 210
Core Clock (Including dispatch, texture units, and ROP units) 575 MHz 500 MHz 675 MHz 540 MHz 450 MHz 450 MHz 450 MHz
Shader Clock (Stream Processors) 1.35 GHz 1.20 GHz 1.45 GHz 1.19 GHz 900 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz
Stream Processors (#) 128 96 32 32 16 16 8
Memory Clock (MHz / data rate) 900/1800 800/1600 1000/2000 700/1400 400/800 400/800 400/800
Memory Interface 384 Bits 320 Bits 128 Bits 128 Bits 128 Bits 64 Bits 64 Bits
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 86.4 GB/s 64.0 GB/s 32.0 GB/s 22.4 GB/s 12.8 GB/s 6.4 GB/s 6.4 GB/s
Frame Buffer Size 768 MB 640 MB 256 MB 256 MB 256 MB 128 MB or 256 MB 128 MB or 256 MB
ROPs (#) 24 20 8 8 8 4 4
Texture filtering rate (texels per clock) 64 48 16 16 8 8 8
Texture Fill Rate (Billions of bilinear filtered texels/sec) 36.80 GT/s 24.00 GT/s 10.80 GT/s 8.64 GT/s 3.60 GT/s 3.60 GT/s 3.60 GT/s
HDCP Support Yes Yes Yes Optional Optional Optional Optional
RAMDACs 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz
Bus Technology PCI Express 1.1a PCI Express 1.1a PCI Express 1.1a PCI Express 1.1a PCI Express 1.1a PCI Express 1.1a PCI Express 1.1a

One fact that you should be able to pull out from this table is that there is a huge gap between the 8800 and 8600. The GeForce 8600 GTS has a quarter the shaders of the 8800 GTX, and one third the shaders of the 8800 GTS. In similar fashion, the 8800 GTX can do four times as many raster operations as the 8600 GTS, and the 8800 GTS can do 2.5 times as many. The data path has the same scaling as the ROPs. The memory interface was also crippled, being only 128 bits wide compared to 384 bits for the 8800 GTX and 320 bits for the 8800 GTS. This means that bandwidth is a little more than one third that of the 8800 GTX and half of the 8800 GTS. Clearly the mid-range is not a classical mid-range we have come to understand over the past five years.

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