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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 4890 2GB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 comes with a clock frequency of 600 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed 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 those specs to the Radeon HD 4890 2GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 975 MHz on this card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4890 2GB 190 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 7 Watts (4%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically be a little bit better than the Radeon HD 4890 2GB overall. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4890 2GB 124800 MB/sec
Difference: 3200 (3%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be a lot (more or less 92%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4890 2GB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4890 2GB 40000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 36800 (92%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be a little bit (more or less 20%) better at FSAA than the Radeon HD 4890 2GB, and will be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4890 2GB 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 2GB

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 2GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Apr 2, 2009
Code Name G92 RV790 XT
Memory 512 MB (x2) 2048 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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better 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 texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in a 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 - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4890 2GB

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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