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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 frequency of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It is made up of 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4890 2GB, which has core speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 975 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 TAUs 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 in theory be a small bit superior to 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 (about 92%) faster with regards to 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 just a bit (approximately 20%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4890 2GB, and should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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 maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved 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 type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the 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 can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock 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 rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum 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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