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GeForce GTX 580 3GB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 3GB features a GPU clock speed of 772 MHz, and the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1002 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also is made up of 512 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 48 ROPs.

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

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 580 3GB should be 33% faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 3GB 192384 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 48256 (33%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 580 3GB will be quite a bit (about 87%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 3GB 49408 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 23008 (87%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 580 3GB is superior to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, by far. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 3GB 37056 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10656 (40%)

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 580 3GB

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 GTX 580 3GB Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2010 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name GF110 R680
Memory 3072 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 772 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 4008 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 244 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 192384 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 49408 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 37056 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 512 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 48 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR4
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Transistors 3000 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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units 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 in a second.

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

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 580 3GB

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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