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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 4870 512MB


The GeForce 9800 GX2 features a core clock speed of 600 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It features 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, which features a core clock frequency of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 150 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 47 Watts (31%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce 9800 GX2 is 11% faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (11%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is much (more or less 156%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 46800 (156%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 7200 (60%)

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

Radeon HD 4870 512MB

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.


Display Specifications

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Model GeForce 9800 GX2 Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name G92 RV770 XT
Memory 512 MB (x2) 512 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 750 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 3600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 150 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 30000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 12000 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 956 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 (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed 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 handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.


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