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GeForce 9800 GX2 vs Radeon HD 3850 512MB

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 frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular model. It features 128 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 3850 512MB, which comes with GPU clock speed of 668 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory running at 828 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 512MB 75 Watts
GeForce 9800 GX2 197 Watts
Difference: 122 Watts (163%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce 9800 GX2, in theory, should perform much faster than the Radeon HD 3850 512MB overall. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 512MB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 75008 (142%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce 9800 GX2 will be much (more or less 619%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3850 512MB. (explain)

GeForce 9800 GX2 76800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 512MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 66112 (619%)

Pixel Rate

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

GeForce 9800 GX2 19200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 512MB 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 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 9800 GX2 Radeon HD 3850 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Mar 2008 Nov 19, 2007
Code Name G92 RV670 PRO
Memory 512 MB (x2) 512 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 maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines 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 lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce 9800 GX2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3850 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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