Select any two GPUs for comparison

Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game GeForce 256 GeForce 6500
Cyberpunk 2077 37567% 18425%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 34350% 16843%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 33233% 16293%
FIFA 21 18900% 9244%
Watch Dogs Legion 36233% 17769%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 33233% 16293%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 53900% 26457%
Grand Theft Auto VI 52900% 25966%
Godfall 61067% 29982%
Genshin Impact 37567% 18425%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the Nvidia GeForce 6500 are massively better than the Nvidia GeForce 256.

The GeForce 6500 was released over three years more recently than the GeForce 256, and so the GeForce 6500 is likely to have far better driver support, meaning it will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the GeForce 256 when running the latest games.

Both GPUs exhibit very poor performance, so rather than upgrading from one to the other you should consider looking at more powerful GPUs. Neither of these will be able to run the latest games in any playable way.

The GeForce 6500 has 224 MB more video memory than the GeForce 256, so is likely to be slightly better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the GeForce 6500 also has superior memory performance overall.

The GeForce 6500 has 2.6 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the GeForce 256, which means that the memory performance of the GeForce 6500 is marginally better than the GeForce 256.

Both the GeForce 256 and the GeForce 6500 have 4 Shader Processing Units. While the two GPUs have the same number of SPUs, the actual performance delivered by the GeForce 6500 is 1 and by the GeForce 256 is 1. Knowing that the shader performance of the GeForce 6500 is superior, it is not necessary to examine the GPUs' respective Texture and Pixel Fill Rates.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed120 MHzvs350 MHz
Boost Clock-vs-
OC Potential None vs -
Driver Support - vs -
Release Date31 Aug 1999vs02 Jan 2005
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

GPU Memory

Memory32 MBvs256 MB
Memory Speed166 MHzvs333 MHz
Memory Bus128 Bitvs128 Bit
Memory TypeDDRvsDDR
Memory Bandwidth2.7GB/secvs5.3GB/sec
L2 Cache - vs -
Delta Color Compression no vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units4vs4
Actual Shader Performance-vs0%
Texture Mapping Units-vs-
Texture Rate-vs-
Render Output Units-vs-
Pixel Rate-vs-

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)-vs2560x1600
VGA Connections1vs1
DVI Connections1vs1
HDMI Connections0vs0
DisplayPort Connections-vs-

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power--
Recommended PSU--

GPU Features

Shader Model-vs3.0
Open GL1.0vs1.5
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended Processor--
Recommended RAM--
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution--

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewGeForce 256 was, technically, the world's first GPU as it was the first single GPU "with integrated transform, lighting, triangle setup/clipping, and rendering engines that is capable of processing a minimum of 10 million polygons per second" - according to NVIDIA.
It's manufactured with a 220nm technology and offers 4 Pixel Shaders (not to be confused with today's Shader Processing Units), 4 TMUs and 4 ROPs, on a 128-bit interface of DDR. The central unit runs at 120MHz and the memory clock operates at 166MHz.
Obviously, none of today's games are playable.
The NVIDIA GeForce 6500 and 6200 graphics processing units (GPUs) featuring NVIDIA TurboCache technology take full advantage of the PCI Express bus to deliver the turbocharged system performance you need to play all the hottest games and applications.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
GPU Variants