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Radeon HD 3850 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 1GB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 828 MHz on this card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which features GPU core speed of 775 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up 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 1GB 75 Watts
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Difference: 31 Watts (41%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 3870 512MB should in theory be a small bit better than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 4608 (9%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB will be just a bit (about 16%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1712 (16%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB will be a bit (approximately 16%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 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 1GB

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.

Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 3850 1GB Radeon HD 3870 512MB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name RV670 PRO RV670 XT
Memory 1024 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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. 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 many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3850 1GB

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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