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GeForce 9600 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB has a core clock speed of 650 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 65/55 nm design. It features 64 SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 775 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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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 exactly the same memory bandwidth, so in theory they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB is a lot (approximately 68%) more effective at AF 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 is a little bit (more or less 19%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, and also will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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 megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units 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 processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially 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 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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