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GeForce 9800 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GT 1GB features core speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 112 SPUs as well as 56 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB, which has clock 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

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB should in theory perform quite a bit faster than the GeForce 9800 GT 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 57600 (100%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GT 1GB is quite a bit (about 27%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 33600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7200 (27%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB should be much (more or less 175%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9800 GT 1GB, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 9600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 16800 (175%)

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 GT 1GB

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 GT 1GB Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year July 2008 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G92a/b R680
Memory 1024 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 600 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1800 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 105 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33600 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 9600 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 112 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 56 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65/55 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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 9800 GT 1GB

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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