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GeForce GTX 660 vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 660 features a GPU core speed of 980 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1502 MHz through a 192-bit bus. It also is made up of 960 Stream Processors, 80 TAUs, and 24 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 RAM works at a frequency of 1126 MHz on this model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the GeForce GTX 660 should in theory be just a bit better than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

GeForce GTX 660 144192 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 64 (0%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 660 will be much (more or less 197%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 660 78400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 52000 (197%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is a better choice, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 660 23520 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2880 (12%)

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 GTX 660

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

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 GTX 660 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2012 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name GK106 R680
Memory 2048 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 980 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 6008 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 140 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 144192 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 78400 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23520 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 960 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 80 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 24 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR4
Bus Width 192-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 28 nm 55 nm
Transistors 2540 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16)
DirectX Version DirectX 11.0 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.3 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster 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 processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 660

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

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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