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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB has a GPU core speed of 825 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM runs at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5870, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 5870 should theoretically be just a bit better than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 9472 (7%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is a lot (approximately 158%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 41600 (158%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 should be a little bit (about 3%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 800 (3%)

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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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 5870

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 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 September 23, 2009
Code Name R680 Cypress XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 850 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 188 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1600(320x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 80
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of 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, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. 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 of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5870

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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