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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB has a clock frequency of 825 MHz and a GDDR4 memory speed of 1126 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5970, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this specific model. It features 1600 SPUs as well as 160 Texture Address Units and 64 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 5970 should in theory be quite a bit better than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 111872 (78%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 will be quite a bit (approximately 779%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 205600 (779%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be a lot (about 252%) more effective at FSAA than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, and should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 66400 (252%)

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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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 5970

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 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 5970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 November 2009
Code Name R680 Hemlock XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 64 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are 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 higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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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