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Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce GT 430 vs Radeon HD 3470 512MB
IntroThe GeForce GT 430 comes with a clock frequency of 700 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 96 SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 4 ROPs.
Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3470 512MB, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 800 MHz, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory running at 950 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 40(8x5) SPUs, 4 Texture Address Units, and 4 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 3470 512MB is 6% quicker than the GeForce GT 430 in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)
Texel RateThe GeForce GT 430 will be a lot (approximately 250%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3470 512MB. (explain)
Pixel RateIf running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3470 512MB is a better choice, not by a very large margin though. (explain)
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.