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GeForce 9800 GT 512MB vs Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GT 512MB uses a 65/55 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a frequency of 900 MHz on this particular model. It features 112 SPUs along with 56 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB, which comes with a clock speed of 625 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 993 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 105 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 250 Watts
Difference: 145 Watts (138%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB should in theory be a lot better than the GeForce 9800 GT 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 127104 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 69504 (121%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB will be quite a bit (about 49%) more effective at AF than the GeForce 9800 GT 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 50000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 33600 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 16400 (49%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB will be a lot (about 108%) more effective at FSAA than the GeForce 9800 GT 512MB, and also will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 20000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 9600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10400 (108%)

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 GT 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

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 GT 512MB Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year July 2008 Nov 7, 2008
Code Name G92a/b R700
Memory 512 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 600 MHz 625 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1986 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 105 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 127104 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33600 Mtexels/sec 50000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 9600 Mpixels/sec 20000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 112 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 56 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65/55 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million 956 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge)
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high 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 of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number 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 drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GT 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

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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