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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 3850 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 has a GPU core clock speed of 600 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 128 Stream Processors, 64 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3850 512MB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a speed of 828 MHz on this specific card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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

Performance-wise, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically be a lot superior to the Radeon HD 3850 512MB in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 is much (approximately 619%) better at texture filtering 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

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is a better choice, by a large margin. (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

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.

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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If 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 high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory 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 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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