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GeForce GTX 470 vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 470 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 607 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a speed of 837 MHz on this model. It features 448 SPUs as well as 56 Texture Address Units and 40 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which comes with GPU core speed of 825 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM running at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should in theory perform a bit faster than the GeForce GTX 470 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 470 133920 MB/sec
Difference: 10208 (8%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 470 is much (approximately 29%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 470 33992 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7592 (29%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is superior to the GeForce GTX 470, not by a very large margin though. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 470 24280 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2120 (9%)

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 GTX 470

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 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 GTX 470 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2010 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name GF100 R680
Memory 1280 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 607 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 3348 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 215 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 133920 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33992 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 24280 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 448 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 56 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 40 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR4
Bus Width 320-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Transistors 3000 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16)
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 470

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 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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