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GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB comes with a GPU clock speed of 513 MHz, and the 320 MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 792 MHz through a 320-bit bus. It also is comprised of 96 SPUs, 48 TAUs, and 20 ROPs.

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

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB 63360 MB/sec
Difference: 80768 (127%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB will be a little bit (approximately 7%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB 24624 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1776 (7%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be a lot (about 157%) more effective at FSAA than the GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB 10260 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 16140 (157%)

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 GTS (G80) 320MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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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 GTS (G80) 320MB Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Feb 2007 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G80 R680
Memory 320 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 513 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1584 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 143 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 63360 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 24624 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10260 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 96 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 48 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 20 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR4
Bus Width 320-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 largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB

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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