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GeForce GTX 860M vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 860M uses a 28 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 797 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 1152 SPUs as well as 96 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which comes with GPU clock speed of 825 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM set to run at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be quite a bit faster than the GeForce GTX 860M in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 860M 64000 MB/sec
Difference: 80128 (125%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 860M is quite a bit (about 190%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 860M 76512 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 50112 (190%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is a lot (about 107%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 860M, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 860M 12752 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 13648 (107%)

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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GeForce GTX 860M

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 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 GTX 860M Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 12 2014 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name GM107 R680
Memory 4096 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 797 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 45 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 64000 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76512 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12752 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1152 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 96 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR4
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 28 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16)
DirectX Version DirectX 12 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.5 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. 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 is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 860M

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 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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