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GeForce GTS 250 512MB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTS 250 512MB makes use of a 65/55 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 738 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1100 MHz on this particular model. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which features core speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
GeForce GTS 250 512MB 145 Watts
Difference: 39 Watts (37%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTS 250 512MB will be 22% faster than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 512MB 70400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (22%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTS 250 512MB should be a lot (approximately 281%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 512MB 47232 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 34832 (281%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 512MB is the winner, not by a very large margin though. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTS 250 512MB 11808 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 592 (5%)

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

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GeForce GTS 250 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 512MB

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 GTS 250 512MB Radeon HD 3870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 3, 2009 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92a/b RV670 XT
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 738 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 2200 MHz 1800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 145 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 57600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 47232 Mtexels/sec 12400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 11808 Mpixels/sec 12400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 16
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65/55 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTS 250 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 512MB

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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