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Radeon HD 3870 512MB vs Radeon HD 4830 1GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 775 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a speed of 900 MHz on this specific model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4830 1GB, which has a clock speed of 575 MHz and a GDDR4 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 640(128x5) SPUs, 32 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4830 1GB 95 Watts
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Difference: 11 Watts (12%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should have the same performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4830 1GB should be quite a bit (more or less 48%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4830 1GB 18400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 6000 (48%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB will be a lot (more or less 35%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 4830 1GB, and able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4830 1GB 9200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 3200 (35%)

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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Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4830 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 Radeon HD 3870 512MB Radeon HD 4830 1GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Oct 21, 2008
Code Name RV670 XT RV770 LE
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 575 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 106 watts 95 watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 57600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 12400 Mtexels/sec 18400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12400 Mpixels/sec 9200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 640(128x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 32
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR4
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 956 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 can be processed in one second. This 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 graphics 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 amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's 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 also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4830 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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