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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7850, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1024 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 67 Watts (52%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7850 should in theory be just a bit better than the GeForce 9800 GX2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (20%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be quite a bit (more or less 40%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 7850. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 21760 (40%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 is quite a bit (approximately 43%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce 9800 GX2, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8320 (43%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7850

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 9800 GX2 Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 March 2012
Code Name G92 Pitcairn Pro
Memory 512 MB (x2) 2048 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 860 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 130 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 1024
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 64
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Transistors 754 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7850

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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