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GeForce 9800 GT 512MB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GT 512MB features core 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 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB, which comes with a clock speed of 825 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB should theoretically perform a lot faster than the GeForce 9800 GT 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 57600 (100%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GT 512MB should be a lot (about 27%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 33600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7200 (27%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 9600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 16800 (175%)

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

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Radeon HD 3870 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 3870 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year July 2008 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G92a/b R680
Memory 512 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 600 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1800 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 105 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33600 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 9600 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 112 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 56 16 (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 (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16)
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type 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, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GT 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 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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