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GeForce 9600 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB makes use of a 65/55 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 650 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a speed of 900 MHz on this model. It features 64 SPUs as well as 32 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which has GPU core 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 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 95 Watts
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Difference: 11 Watts (12%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB will be quite a bit (approximately 68%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 20800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 8400 (68%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB should be just a bit (approximately 19%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, and capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 10400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2000 (19%)

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 9600 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 9600 GT 1GB Radeon HD 3870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Feb 2008 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G94a/b RV670 XT
Memory 1024 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 650 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 95 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 57600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 20800 Mtexels/sec 12400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10400 Mpixels/sec 12400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 64 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 32 16
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65/55 nm 55 nm
Transistors 505 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out 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 drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of 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

Hide Prices

GeForce 9600 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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