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Radeon HD 3850 256MB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB has a GPU clock speed of 668 MHz, and the 256 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 828 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which has a core clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 75 Watts
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Difference: 31 Watts (41%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 3870 512MB should in theory be a little bit superior to the Radeon HD 3850 256MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 4608 (9%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB is a little bit (about 16%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1712 (16%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 512MB is a better choice, though not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1712 (16%)

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 3850 256MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3870 512MB

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 3850 256MB Radeon HD 3870 512MB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name RV670 PRO RV670 XT
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 668 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 1656 MHz 1800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 52992 MB/sec 57600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10688 Mtexels/sec 12400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10688 Mpixels/sec 12400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 16
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core 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 number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3850 256MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 512MB

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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