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Radeon HD 3870 512MB vs Radeon HD 4830 1GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB features a clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4830 1GB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 575 MHz. The GDDR4 memory is set to run at a frequency of 900 MHz on this card. It features 640(128x5) SPUs as well as 32 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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 exactly the same memory bandwidth, so in theory they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4830 1GB should be much (more or less 48%) better at anisotropic 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 is quite a bit (about 35%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4830 1GB, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (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 largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated 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 rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum 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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