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GeForce GTS 250 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTS 250 1GB comes with a clock frequency of 738 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1100 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65/55 nm design. It is made up of 128 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which features a core clock speed of 775 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 145 Watts
Difference: 39 Watts (37%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTS 250 1GB should be 22% faster than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB overall, because of its greater bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 1GB 70400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (22%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTS 250 1GB will be quite a bit (more or less 281%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 1GB 47232 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 34832 (281%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB will be a little bit (about 5%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTS 250 1GB, and also will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 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 1GB

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 1GB Radeon HD 3870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 3, 2009 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92a/b RV670 XT
Memory 1024 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 information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, it must 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 anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can 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 ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTS 250 1GB

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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