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GeForce 8800 GTX vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8800 GTX uses a 90 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 575 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 900 MHz on this particular model. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 24 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which has a clock speed of 825 MHz and a GDDR4 memory frequency of 1126 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be quite a bit faster than 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 is quite a bit (more or less 39%) faster with regards to AF 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 using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is the winner, by a large margin. (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 data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill 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 reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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