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GeForce 9800 GTX vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GTX comes with clock speeds of 675 MHz on the GPU, and 1100 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB, which features core speeds of 825 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB will be 64% quicker than the GeForce 9800 GTX in general, due to its higher data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GTX 70400 MB/sec
Difference: 44800 (64%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GTX is much (about 64%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GTX 43200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 16800 (64%)

Pixel Rate

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB is superior to the GeForce 9800 GTX, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GTX 10800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 15600 (144%)

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 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 GeForce 9800 GTX Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year April 2008 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G92 R680
Memory 512 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 675 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2200 MHz 1800 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 140 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 43200 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10800 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 16 (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 (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16)
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 (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, 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 maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka 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, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 9800 GTX

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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