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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5870, which has GPU clock speed of 850 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1600(320x5) Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 9 Watts (5%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 5870 should perform just a bit faster than the GeForce 9800 GX2 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (20%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is a little bit (more or less 13%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 5870. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 8800 (13%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 should be much (approximately 42%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce 9800 GX2, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8000 (42%)

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 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5870

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 9800 GX2 Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 September 23, 2009
Code Name G92 Cypress XT
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 850 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 188 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 1600(320x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 80
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 754 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5870

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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