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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX features a GPU core speed of 675 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 1100 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 128 Stream Processors, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a speed of 993 MHz on this specific card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9800 GTX 140 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 250 Watts
Difference: 110 Watts (79%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB should theoretically be much better than the GeForce 9800 GTX in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 127104 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GTX 70400 MB/sec
Difference: 56704 (81%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB should be a bit (about 16%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 9800 GTX. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 50000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9800 GTX 43200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 6800 (16%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB will be much (about 85%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9800 GTX, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 20000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GTX 10800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 9200 (85%)

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 GTX

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

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 GTX Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2008 Nov 7, 2008
Code Name G92 R700
Memory 512 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 675 MHz 625 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2200 MHz 1986 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 140 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 127104 MB/sec
Texel Rate 43200 Mtexels/sec 50000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10800 Mpixels/sec 20000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 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 data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GTX

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

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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