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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB features a core clock frequency of 825 MHz and a GDDR4 memory speed of 1126 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5970, which features a core clock speed of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1600 SPUs, 160 Texture Address Units, and 64 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5970 should be much faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 111872 (78%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 is a lot (about 779%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 205600 (779%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 is a lot (about 252%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 66400 (252%)

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 5970

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 5970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 November 2009
Code Name R680 Hemlock XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 64 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, 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 is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better 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 maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). 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 potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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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