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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 6990

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB comes with a GPU clock speed of 825 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR4 memory is set to run at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6990, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 830 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1250 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1536 Stream Processors, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6990 should theoretically be much better than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6990 320000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 175872 (122%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6990 will be a lot (more or less 504%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6990 159360 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 132960 (504%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6990 is a better choice, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 6990 53120 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 26720 (101%)

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

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6990

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 6990
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 March 2011
Code Name R680 Antilles
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 2048 MB (x2)
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 830 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 5000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 375 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 320000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 159360 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 53120 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1536 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 96 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2640 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6990

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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