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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon R9 M290X

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 RAM runs at a speed of 1126 MHz on this specific model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon R9 M290X, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1200 MHz on this specific model. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon R9 M290X should perform a bit faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon R9 M290X 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 9472 (7%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 M290X will be quite a bit (more or less 158%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon R9 M290X 68000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 41600 (158%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon R9 M290X will be a little bit (more or less 3%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon R9 M290X 27200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 800 (3%)

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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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon R9 M290X

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 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB Radeon R9 M290X
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 May 1 2014
Code Name R680 Neptune XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 4096 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 850 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 100 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1280
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 80
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 28 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units 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 output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon R9 M290X

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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