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

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB features a GPU core speed of 825 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR4 memory runs at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4890 1GB, which features core clock speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 975 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should perform a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4890 1GB overall. (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 is quite a bit (about 52%) more effective at texture filtering 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 is much (about 65%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 4890 1GB, and also should be able to handle higher resolutions better. (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

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.

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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's 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 texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video 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 the video card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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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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