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GeForce 8800 GTX vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8800 GTX comes with a core clock frequency of 575 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 384-bit memory bus, and uses a 90 nm design. It is made up of 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 24 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 RAM runs at a frequency of 1126 MHz on this model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should in theory be a lot superior to the GeForce 8800 GTX overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
GeForce 8800 GTX 86400 MB/sec
Difference: 57728 (67%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8800 GTX will be quite a bit (approximately 39%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

GeForce 8800 GTX 36800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 10400 (39%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be quite a bit (more or less 91%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce 8800 GTX, and also able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8800 GTX 13800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 12600 (91%)

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 8800 GTX

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 8800 GTX Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Nov 2006 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G80 R680
Memory 768 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 575 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 155 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 86400 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 36800 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 13800 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 24 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR4
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 90 nm 55 nm
Transistors 681 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster 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 can be processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. 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 lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8800 GTX

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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