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Radeon HD 3850 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 1GB features a core clock speed of 668 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 828 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which has GPU clock speed of 775 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 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

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB should in theory perform a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB overall. (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 is a bit (approximately 16%) more effective at 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

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 512MB is the winner, but only just. (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 largest amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card 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 applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably 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 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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