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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 comes with a clock frequency of 600 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It features 128 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which has GPU clock speed of 750 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 800(160x5) Stream Processors, 40 TAUs, 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

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 should theoretically be a lot faster 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 quite a bit (more or less 28%) better at anisotropic filtering 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%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9800 GX2, and also will be capable of handling higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (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 max amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If 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 higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number 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 speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

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