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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 3850 1GB

Intro

The GeForce 9800 GX2 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 600 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 128 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 3850 1GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 828 MHz on this card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 1GB 75 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 122 Watts (163%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GX2 should in theory perform a lot faster than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB in general. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 75008 (142%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be much (approximately 619%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 3850 1GB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 66112 (619%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce 9800 GX2 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 1GB 10688 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8512 (80%)

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 GX2

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3850 1GB

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 9800 GX2 Radeon HD 3850 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz (x2) 668 MHz
Memory Speed 2000 MHz (x2) 1656 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 197 watts 75 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 52992 MB/sec
Texel Rate 76800 Mtexels/sec 10688 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19200 Mpixels/sec 10688 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 (x2) 320(64x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 16
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one 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 - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends 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 max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3850 1GB

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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