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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 speed at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 828 MHz on this card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which features a GPU core clock speed of 775 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM running at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, 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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 3870 512MB should be 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 just a bit (about 16%) better at AF 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 is just a bit (more or less 16%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB, and also capable of handling higher resolutions while still performing well. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core 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 most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the 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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