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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 features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It is comprised of 128 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3850 1GB, which features core clock speeds of 668 MHz on the GPU, and 828 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs 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

As far as performance goes, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically be much superior to the Radeon HD 3850 1GB in general. (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 (about 619%) faster with regards to texture 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

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be a lot (about 80%) more effective at FSAA than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB, and should be able to handle higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (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 largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better 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 can be processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - 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 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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