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GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 640MB vs Radeon HD 3850 X2

Intro

The GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 640MB has a core clock frequency of 513 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 792 MHz. It also makes use of a 320-bit bus, and uses a 90 nm design. It is made up of 96 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 20 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3850 X2, which has core speeds of 668 MHz on the GPU, and 828 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 3850 X2 should theoretically be much superior to the GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 640MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 X2 105984 MB/sec
GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 640MB 63360 MB/sec
Difference: 42624 (67%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 640MB will be a small bit (more or less 15%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 3850 X2. (explain)

GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 640MB 24624 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 X2 21376 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3248 (15%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3850 X2 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 X2 21376 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 640MB 10260 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 11116 (108%)

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) 640MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3850 X2

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) 640MB Radeon HD 3850 X2
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Nov 2006 (640) Apr 4, 2008
Code Name G80 RV670 PRO
Memory 640 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 513 MHz 668 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1584 MHz 1656 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 143 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 63360 MB/sec 105984 MB/sec
Texel Rate 24624 Mtexels/sec 21376 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10260 Mpixels/sec 21376 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 96 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 48 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 20 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
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 data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. 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 lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8800 GTS (G80) 640MB

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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