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GeForce GT 420 vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GT 420 comes with a GPU clock speed of 700 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 900 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 48 SPUs, 8 Texture Address Units, and 4 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1126 MHz on this model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be quite a bit faster than the GeForce GT 420 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
GeForce GT 420 28800 MB/sec
Difference: 115328 (400%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is quite a bit (about 371%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GT 420. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GT 420 5600 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 20800 (371%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be much (more or less 843%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GT 420, and should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GT 420 2800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 23600 (843%)

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 GT 420

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

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 GT 420 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2010 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name GF108 R680
Memory 2048 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 700 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 50 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 28800 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 5600 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 2800 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 48 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 8 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 4 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR4
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Transistors 585 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16)
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, 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 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 higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core 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 also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GT 420

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

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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