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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5850, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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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 exactly the same bandwidth, so theoretically they should have the same performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be quite a bit (more or less 47%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 should be quite a bit (more or less 21%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9800 GX2, and also able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units 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 also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential 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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