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GeForce GTX 460 2GB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 460 2GB comes with clock speeds of 675 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 336 SPUs along with 56 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB, which has a core clock frequency of 825 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have exactly the same memory bandwidth, so in theory they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 460 2GB is quite a bit (approximately 43%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 460 2GB 37800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 11400 (43%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB is a better choice, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 460 2GB 21600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4800 (22%)

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 GTX 460 2GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 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 GTX 460 2GB Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year July 2010 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name GF104 R680
Memory 2048 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 675 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 1800 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 160 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 37800 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 21600 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 336 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 56 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 32 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Transistors 1950 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 (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus 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 ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This number 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 processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 460 2GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 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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