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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 has a GPU clock speed of 600 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 128 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which features core 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 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

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

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is much (more or less 28%) more effective at texture 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

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is superior to the GeForce 9800 GX2, by a large margin. (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 data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it 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 AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the 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 the video card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output 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 ability 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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