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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 4890 1GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB has a GPU core speed of 825 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM runs at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 4890 1GB, which comes with a clock frequency of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 975 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should theoretically be a small bit better than the Radeon HD 4890 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4890 1GB 124800 MB/sec
Difference: 19328 (15%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4890 1GB will be quite a bit (more or less 52%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4890 1GB 40000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 13600 (52%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be a lot (about 65%) better at FSAA than the Radeon HD 4890 1GB, and also able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4890 1GB 16000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10400 (65%)

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 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 4890 1GB

Amazon.com

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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 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 4890 1GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 Apr 2, 2009
Code Name R680 RV790 XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 3900 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 190 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 124800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 40000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 16000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 40
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 959 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved over 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, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core 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 rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4890 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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