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

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 3GB features a clock frequency of 772 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1002 MHz. It also features a 384-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 512 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 48 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which has GPU core speed of 825 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM running at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce GTX 580 3GB should theoretically be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB overall. (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 much (more or less 87%) better at AF 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, and very much so. (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 maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the 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 most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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