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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 comes with core clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5970, which features a GPU core clock speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600 Stream Processors, 160 TAUs, and 64 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 97 Watts (49%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5970 is 100% faster than the GeForce 9800 GX2 overall, because of its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 128000 (100%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 is much (approximately 202%) better at AF than the GeForce 9800 GX2. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 155200 (202%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is superior to the GeForce 9800 GX2, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 73600 (383%)

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 9800 GX2

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.

Specifications

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Model GeForce 9800 GX2 Radeon HD 5970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 November 2009
Code Name G92 Hemlock XT
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 64 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 754 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once 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 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 amount of texture units 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 a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many 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

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GeForce 9800 GX2

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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