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GeForce 8800 GT 512MB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce 8800 GT 512MB has a GPU core speed of 600 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 112 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB, which comes with a core clock frequency of 825 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It features 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB should in theory perform quite a bit faster than the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 115200 MB/sec
GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 57600 (100%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 8800 GT 512MB should be quite a bit (about 27%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 33600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7200 (27%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB will be much (about 175%) more effective at AA than the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 8800 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 8800 GT 512MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

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 8800 GT 512MB Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Oct 2007 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G92 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 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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units 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 is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 8800 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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