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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 3850 1GB

Intro

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

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3850 1GB, which has GPU core speed of 668 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory running at 828 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 1GB 75 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 122 Watts (163%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically be a lot superior to the Radeon HD 3850 1GB overall. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 75008 (142%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be quite a bit (approximately 619%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 66112 (619%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is the winner, by far. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 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 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 3850 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 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 information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, 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 AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video 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 the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3850 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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