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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 3850 256MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1000 MHz on this specific card. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 3850 256MB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a speed of 828 MHz on this card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 75 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 122 Watts (163%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically perform quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB in general. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 75008 (142%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be much (about 619%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 66112 (619%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is superior to the Radeon HD 3850 256MB, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8512 (80%)

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 3850 256MB

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 3850 256MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB (x2) 256 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 668 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 1656 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 75 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 52992 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 10688 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 10688 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 16
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must 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, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3850 256MB

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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