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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 has a core clock frequency of 600 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It is made up of 128 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5870, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this specific model. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs as well as 80 TAUs 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

In theory, the Radeon HD 5870 is 20% faster than the GeForce 9800 GX2 overall, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is a bit (about 13%) better at AF 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 will be quite a bit (approximately 42%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9800 GX2, and should be able to handle higher resolutions better. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, 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 are applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number 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 rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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