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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 has a GPU core clock speed of 600 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 128 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which features a clock speed of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 800(160x5) SPUs, 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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 will be 80% quicker than the GeForce 9800 GX2 in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is quite a bit (more or less 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 is a lot (about 25%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce 9800 GX2, and 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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max 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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