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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this model. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which comes with clock speeds of 750 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 X2 350 Watts
Difference: 153 Watts (78%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 should theoretically be quite a bit better than the GeForce 9800 GX2 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 230400 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (80%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be a lot (approximately 28%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 4870 X2. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 X2 60000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 16800 (28%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 will be much (more or less 25%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9800 GX2, and capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 24000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4800 (25%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 X2

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 9800 GX2 Radeon HD 4870 X2
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Aug 12, 2008
Code Name G92 R700
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 750 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 3600 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 350 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 230400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 60000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 24000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million 956 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge)
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip 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 Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called 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, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 X2

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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