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GeForce 9600 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 3850 X2

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB makes use of a 65/55 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 650 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a speed of 900 MHz on this specific model. It features 64 SPUs along with 32 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3850 X2, which features clock speeds of 668 MHz on the GPU, and 828 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. 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

In theory, the Radeon HD 3850 X2 is 84% faster than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB overall, because of its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 X2 105984 MB/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 48384 (84%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 X2 will be just a bit (more or less 3%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 X2 21376 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 20800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 576 (3%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 X2 is quite a bit (approximately 106%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 X2 21376 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 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 1GB

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 1GB Radeon HD 3850 X2
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Feb 2008 Apr 4, 2008
Code Name G94a/b RV670 PRO
Memory 1024 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 (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, 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 number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video 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 most pixels the video card can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also 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, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB

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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