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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX comes with a core clock frequency of 675 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1100 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It features 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which features core clock speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
GeForce 9800 GTX 140 Watts
Difference: 34 Watts (32%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce 9800 GTX will be 22% faster than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB in general, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GTX 70400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (22%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GTX will be a lot (more or less 248%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GTX 43200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 30800 (248%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB is a bit (about 15%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce 9800 GTX, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GTX 10800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1600 (15%)

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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GeForce 9800 GTX

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 GeForce 9800 GTX Radeon HD 3870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2008 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92 RV670 XT
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 675 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 2200 MHz 1800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 140 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 57600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 43200 Mtexels/sec 12400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10800 Mpixels/sec 12400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 16
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core 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 fill rate also depends on quite a few 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

Hide Prices

GeForce 9800 GTX

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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