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GeForce GTX 590 vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 590 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 607 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 855 MHz on this particular model. It features 512 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 48 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which has core clock speeds of 825 MHz on the GPU, and 1126 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce GTX 590 will be 128% faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 590 328320 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 184192 (128%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 590 is a lot (approximately 194%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 590 77696 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 51296 (194%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 590 is quite a bit (approximately 121%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, and capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

GeForce GTX 590 58272 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 31872 (121%)

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 590

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 590 Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2011 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name GF110 R680
Memory 1536 MB (x2) 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 607 MHz (x2) 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 3420 MHz (x2) 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 365 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 328320 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 77696 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 58272 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 512 (x2) 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 48 (x2) 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR4
Bus Width 384-bit (x2) 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Transistors 3000 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe 2.0 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 maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 590

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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