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GeForce 9800 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GT 1GB comes with a GPU core clock speed of 600 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 112 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which comes with a clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory 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)

GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 105 Watts
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Difference: 1 Watts (1%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have exactly the same bandwidth, so in theory they should have the same performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GT 1GB will be a lot (more or less 171%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 33600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 21200 (171%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 512MB is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 9600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2800 (29%)

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 GT 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 GeForce 9800 GT 1GB Radeon HD 3870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year July 2008 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92a/b RV670 XT
Memory 1024 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 105 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 57600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33600 Mtexels/sec 12400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 9600 Mpixels/sec 12400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 112 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 56 16
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65/55 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 information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number 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 graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 9800 GT 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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