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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 3850 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 has a clock speed of 600 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed 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 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3850 512MB, which features GPU core speed of 668 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM running at 828 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 512MB 75 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 122 Watts (163%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should be 142% quicker than the Radeon HD 3850 512MB overall, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 512MB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 75008 (142%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be much (about 619%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 3850 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 512MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 66112 (619%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be quite a bit (more or less 80%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 3850 512MB, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 512MB 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

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Radeon HD 3850 512MB

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 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB (x2) 512 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 (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core 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 is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3850 512MB

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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