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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 memory runs at a frequency of 1126 MHz on this specific model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with a core clock frequency of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 7870 should in theory be just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 9472 (7%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be a lot (approximately 203%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 53600 (203%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be quite a bit (about 21%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5600 (21%)

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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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 7870

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 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 March 2012
Code Name R680 Pitcairn XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 2048 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1280
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 80
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 28 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core 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 most pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870

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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