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Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce 9800 GT 512MB vs Radeon HD 3850 256MB
IntroThe GeForce 9800 GT 512MB has clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 112 SPUs as well as 56 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3850 256MB, which comes with a clock frequency of 668 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 828 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Performance-wise, the GeForce 9800 GT 512MB should in theory be a little bit superior to the Radeon HD 3850 256MB overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce 9800 GT 512MB should be a lot (about 214%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB. (explain)
Pixel RateThe Radeon HD 3850 256MB will be a bit (about 11%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9800 GT 512MB, and also will be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)
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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If 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 high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 most pixels that the graphics card 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 number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.