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Radeon HD 3850 256MB vs Radeon HD 3870 1GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB features a GPU core clock speed of 668 MHz, and the 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 828 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 1GB, which features clock 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 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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

In theory, the Radeon HD 3870 1GB is 36% quicker than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB overall, because of its higher bandwidth. (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 is a little bit (approximately 16%) faster with regards to anisotropic 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

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 1GB is the winner, though not by far. (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

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.

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 MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. 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 high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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