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

Intro

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

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 825 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory running at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 460 2GB is quite a bit (about 43%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering 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 running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB is a better choice, by a large margin. (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 largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, it should 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, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total 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 in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core 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 quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum 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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