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GeForce 8800 GTX vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8800 GTX has a core clock frequency of 575 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 384-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 90 nm design. It features 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 24 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1126 MHz on this particular card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should in theory be much superior to the GeForce 8800 GTX in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8800 GTX is a lot (approximately 39%) more effective 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

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is superior to the GeForce 8800 GTX, and very much so. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster 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 processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the 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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