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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 4890 1GB

Intro

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

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4890 1GB, which features a GPU core clock speed of 1000 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 975 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 800(160x5) Stream Processors, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4890 1GB 190 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 7 Watts (4%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GX2, in theory, should be a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4890 1GB in general. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4890 1GB 124800 MB/sec
Difference: 3200 (3%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be a lot (about 92%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4890 1GB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4890 1GB 40000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 36800 (92%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is a better choice, though only just barely. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4890 1GB 16000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 3200 (20%)

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 4890 1GB

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 4890 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Apr 2, 2009
Code Name G92 RV790 XT
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 3900 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 190 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 124800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 40000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 16000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 40
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million 959 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 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 information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the 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 are applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, 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 maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4890 1GB

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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