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GeForce 9600 GT 512MB vs Radeon HD 3850 X2

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 512MB comes with a GPU core speed of 650 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 64 Stream Processors, 32 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3850 X2, which features a clock speed of 668 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 828 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3850 X2 should be much faster than the GeForce 9600 GT 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 X2 105984 MB/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 48384 (84%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 X2 will be a small bit (about 3%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce 9600 GT 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 X2 21376 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 20800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 576 (3%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3850 X2 is superior to the GeForce 9600 GT 512MB, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 X2 21376 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 10400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10976 (106%)

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 9600 GT 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3850 X2

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 9600 GT 512MB Radeon HD 3850 X2
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Feb 2008 Apr 4, 2008
Code Name G94a/b RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 650 MHz 668 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1656 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 95 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 105984 MB/sec
Texel Rate 20800 Mtexels/sec 21376 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10400 Mpixels/sec 21376 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 64 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 32 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65/55 nm 55 nm
Transistors 505 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 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 (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number 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 is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 9600 GT 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3850 X2

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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