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Radeon HD 3850 X2 vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 X2 makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a frequency of 828 MHz on this card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB, which comes with a core clock frequency of 825 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB should theoretically perform a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 3850 X2 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 115200 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 X2 105984 MB/sec
Difference: 9216 (9%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB is a lot (more or less 24%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 3850 X2. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 X2 21376 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 5024 (24%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB is quite a bit (about 24%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 3850 X2, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 X2 21376 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5024 (24%)

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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Radeon HD 3850 X2

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3870 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 Radeon HD 3850 X2 Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Apr 4, 2008 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name RV670 PRO R680
Memory 512 MB (x2) 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 668 MHz (x2) 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1656 MHz (x2) 1800 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 105984 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 21376 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 21376 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16)
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3850 X2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 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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