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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 comes with a core clock speed of 600 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It is comprised of 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6870, which comes with a clock speed of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1050 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1120 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6870 151 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 46 Watts (30%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6870 should in theory be a little bit better than the GeForce 9800 GX2 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 134400 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 6400 (5%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should be a lot (more or less 52%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 6870. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6870 50400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 26400 (52%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 will be a lot (about 50%) better at FSAA than the GeForce 9800 GX2, and will be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 28800 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 9600 (50%)

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 6870

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 6870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 October 2010
Code Name G92 Barts XT
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 900 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 4200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 1120
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 56
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 754 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster 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 applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core 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 in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6870

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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