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GeForce GTS 250 512MB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTS 250 512MB comes with a GPU clock speed of 738 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 1100 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which features a clock speed of 825 MHz and a GDDR4 memory speed of 1126 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should in theory be quite a bit faster than the GeForce GTS 250 512MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
GeForce GTS 250 512MB 70400 MB/sec
Difference: 73728 (105%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTS 250 512MB should be quite a bit (more or less 79%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 512MB 47232 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 20832 (79%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be a lot (more or less 124%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce GTS 250 512MB, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTS 250 512MB 11808 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 14592 (124%)

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 GTS 250 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

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 GTS 250 512MB Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 3, 2009 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G92a/b R680
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 738 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2200 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 145 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 47232 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 11808 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 GDDR4
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 3.1 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported across 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 RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTS 250 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

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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