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GeForce GTS 250 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 1GB

Intro

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

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 1GB, which comes with core clock speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1125 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

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

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 3870 1GB should be 2% faster than the GeForce GTS 250 1GB overall, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 72000 MB/sec
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 70400 MB/sec
Difference: 1600 (2%)

Texel Rate

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

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

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 1GB is superior to the GeForce GTS 250 1GB, not by a very large margin though. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 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 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 GTS 250 1GB Radeon HD 3870 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 3, 2009 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92a/b RV670 XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 738 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 2200 MHz 2250 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 145 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 72000 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 GDDR4
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 maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTS 250 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 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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