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Radeon HD 3850 256MB vs Radeon HD 3870 1GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB has a core clock frequency of 668 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 828 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 1GB, which comes with core speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1125 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 75 Watts
Radeon HD 3870 1GB 106 Watts
Difference: 31 Watts (41%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 3870 1GB should in theory be much better than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 72000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 19008 (36%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 1GB will be a little bit (about 16%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1712 (16%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 1GB is just a bit (more or less 16%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB, and will be capable of handling higher resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 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 256MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3870 1GB

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 256MB Radeon HD 3870 1GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name RV670 PRO RV670 XT
Memory 256 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 668 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 1656 MHz 2250 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 52992 MB/sec 72000 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 GDDR4
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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3850 256MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 1GB

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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