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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 3690/3830

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs 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 that to the Radeon HD 3690/3830, which has a clock frequency of 668 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 828 MHz. It also uses a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3690/3830 75 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 122 Watts (163%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should theoretically be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 3690/3830 in general. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3690/3830 26496 MB/sec
Difference: 101504 (383%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be a lot (about 619%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3690/3830. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3690/3830 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 66112 (619%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be a lot (more or less 80%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 3690/3830, and also capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3690/3830 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 3690/3830

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 3690/3830
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 2008
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 26496 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) 128-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better 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 can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core 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 maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - 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 3690/3830

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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