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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 4890 2GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB has a clock frequency of 825 MHz and a GDDR4 memory frequency of 1126 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4890 2GB, which has core speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 975 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should perform a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4890 2GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4890 2GB 124800 MB/sec
Difference: 19328 (15%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4890 2GB is much (about 52%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4890 2GB 40000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 13600 (52%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4890 2GB 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 2GB

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 2GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 Apr 2, 2009
Code Name R680 RV790 XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 2048 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 maximum amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics 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 most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4890 2GB

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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