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GeForce GTS 250 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTS 250 1GB comes with core speeds of 738 MHz on the GPU, and 1100 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare that 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 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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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 much faster than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB in general. (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 should be much (approximately 281%) better at AF 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 is just a bit (more or less 5%) more effective at FSAA than the GeForce GTS 250 1GB, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 that the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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