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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 memory is set to run at a speed of 1126 MHz on this particular card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6850, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 960 SPUs along with 48 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should in theory be just a bit better than the Radeon HD 6850 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 16128 (13%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6850 is much (more or less 41%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 10800 (41%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is the winner, but only just. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1600 (6%)

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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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6850

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 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 October 2010
Code Name R680 Barts Pro
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 775 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 960
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 48
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6850

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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