A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
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GeForce 9800 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GT 1GB comes with core clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 112 SPUs along with 56 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7850, which has a GPU core clock speed of 860 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1024 Stream Processors, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 105 Watts
Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
Difference: 25 Watts (24%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 7850 is 167% quicker than the GeForce 9800 GT 1GB in general, because of its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 96000 (167%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 is a lot (approximately 64%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce 9800 GT 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 33600 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 21440 (64%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 9600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 17920 (187%)

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

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GT 1GB

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7850

Amazon.com

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

Display Specifications

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Model GeForce 9800 GT 1GB Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year July 2008 March 2012
Code Name G92a/b Pitcairn Pro
Fab Process 65/55 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz 860 MHz
Shader Speed 1500 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 4800 MHz
Unified Shaders 112 1024
Texture Mapping Units 56 64
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 105 watts 130 watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33600 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 9600 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

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

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