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Radeon HD 3850 256MB vs Radeon HD 3870 1GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a frequency of 828 MHz on this specific model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3870 1GB, which features a clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR4 memory frequency of 1125 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It features 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, 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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3870 1GB should perform quite a bit faster 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 should 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

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 1GB is superior to the Radeon HD 3850 256MB, but 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 maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory per 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 - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the 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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