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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 core speed of 513 MHz, and the 320 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 792 MHz through a 320-bit bus. It also features 96 Stream Processors, 48 TAUs, and 20 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which has clock speeds of 825 MHz on the GPU, and 1126 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be 127% faster than the GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB in general, because of its greater bandwidth. (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 should be a small bit (approximately 7%) faster with regards to 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

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is superior to the GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB, by far. (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

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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 max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, 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 can be applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

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

Display Prices

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GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 320MB

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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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