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GeForce 9600 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB comes with a core clock frequency of 650 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 65/55 nm design. It is comprised of 64 SPUs, 32 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB, which has a clock speed of 825 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB will be 100% quicker than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB overall, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 57600 (100%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB should be quite a bit (approximately 27%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 20800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 5600 (27%)

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 9600 GT 1GB, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 10400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 16000 (154%)

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 9600 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 9600 GT 1GB Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Feb 2008 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G94a/b R680
Memory 1024 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 650 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1800 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 95 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 20800 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10400 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 64 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 32 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 505 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 largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many 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

Hide Prices

GeForce 9600 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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