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GeForce GTX 960M vs Radeon HD 3870 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 960M has a core clock frequency of 1096 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 640 SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3870 1GB, which features GPU core speed of 775 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM running at 1125 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 960M 65 Watts
Radeon HD 3870 1GB 106 Watts
Difference: 41 Watts (63%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 1GB should theoretically perform a little bit faster than the GeForce GTX 960M overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 72000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 960M 64000 MB/sec
Difference: 8000 (13%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 960M will be a lot (more or less 254%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 960M 43840 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 1GB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 31440 (254%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 960M is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 960M 17536 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 1GB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5136 (41%)

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.

Price Comparison

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GeForce GTX 960M

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3870 1GB

Amazon.com

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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 960M Radeon HD 3870 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 12 2015 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name GM107 RV670 XT
Memory 2048 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 1096 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 2250 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 65 watts 106 watts
Bandwidth 64000 MB/sec 72000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 43840 Mtexels/sec 12400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 17536 Mpixels/sec 12400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 640 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 40 16
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR4
Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x
DirectX Version DirectX 12 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.5 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, 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 calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 960M

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 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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