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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 has a GPU core speed of 600 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5850, which features GPU clock speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 46 Watts (30%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so in theory they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be a lot (more or less 47%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 24600 (47%)

Pixel Rate

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5850 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4000 (21%)

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 5850

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 5850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name G92 Cypress PRO
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 725 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 72
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 largest amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better 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 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 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 applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a 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 - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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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