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Comparing The GPUs And Test Setup

The Fastest 3D Cards Go Head-To-Head
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The test includes the 3800- and 4800-series models from AMD, as well as the GeForce 8-, 9-, and GTX 200-series boards from Nvidia. The lower limits are bound by the Radeon HD 3650 and GeForce 8600 GT.

Nvidia graphics cards
Chip Code name Memory GPU rate Shader Memory rate SPs
GeForce GTX 280 SLI GT200 1024 GDDR3 602 MHz 4.0, 1296 MHz 2214 MHz 240
GeForce GTX 280 GT200 1024 GDDR3 602 MHz 4.0, 1296 MHz 2214 MHz 240
GeForce GTX 260 SLI GT200 896 GDDR3 576 MHz 4.0, 1242 MHz 1998 MHz 192
GeForce GTX 260GT200 896 GDDR3 576 MHz 4.0, 1242 MHz 1998 MHz 192
GeForce 9800 GX2 2xG92 2x512 MB GDDR3 600 MHz 4.0, 1500 MHz 2000 MHz 2x128
GeForce 9800 GTX SLI G92 512 MB GDDR3 675 MHz 4.0, 1688 MHz 2200 MHz 128
GeForce 9800 GTX G92 512 MB GDDR3 675 MHz 4.0, 1688 MHz 2200 MHz 128
GeForce 9600 GT SLI G94 1024 MB GDDR3 650 MHz 4.0, 1625 MHz 1800 MHz 64
GeForce 9600 GT G94 1024 MB GDDR3 650 MHz 4.0, 1625 MHz 1800 MHz 64
GeForce 8800 GTS OC G92 512 MB GDDR3 730 MHz 4.0, 1825 MHz 1944 MHz 128
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI G92 512 MB GDDR3 650 MHz 4.0, 1625 MHz 1944 MHz 128
GeForce 8800 GTS G92 512 MB GDDR3 650 MHz 4.0, 1625 MHz 1944 MHz 128
GeForce 8800 GT SLI G92 1024 MB GDDR3 600 MHz 4.0, 1500 MHz 1800 MHz 112
GeForce 8800 GT G92 1024 MB GDDR3 600 MHz 4.0, 1500 MHz 1800 MHz 112
GeForce 8800 GT SLI G92 512 MB GDDR3 600 MHz 4.0, 1500 MHz 1800 MHz 112
GeForce 8800 GT G92 512 MB GDDR3 600 MHz 4.0, 1500 MHz 1800 MHz 112
GeForce 8800 Ultra SLI G80 768 MB GDDR3 612 MHz 4.0, 1512 MHz 2160 MHz 128
GeForce 8800 Ultra G80 768 MB GDDR3 612 MHz 4.0, 1512 MHz 2160 MHz 128
GeForce 8800 GTX G80 768 MB GDDR3 576 MHz 4.0, 1350 MHz 1800 MHz 128
GeForce 8800 GTS G80 640 MB GDDR3 500 MHz 4.0, 1188 MHz 1600 MHz 96
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI G80 320 MB GDDR3 500 MHz 4.0, 1188 MHz 1600 MHz 96
GeForce 8800 GTS G80 320 MB GDDR3 500 MHz 4.0, 1188 MHz 1600 MHz 96
GeForce 8600 GTS G84 512 MB GDDR3 675 MHz 4.0, 1450 MHz 2016 MHz 32
GeForce 8600 GTS SLI G84 256 MB GDDR3 675 MHz 4.0, 1450 MHz 2016 MHz 32
GeForce 8600 GTS G84 256 MB GDDR3 675 MHz 4.0, 1450 MHz 2016 MHz 32
GeForce 8600 GT SLI G84 256 MB GDDR3 540 MHz 4.0, 1180 MHz 1400 MHz 32
GeForce 8600 GT G84 256 MB GDDR3 540 MHz 4.0, 1180 MHz 1400 MHz 32

Chip Memory bus Manufacturing process Transistors Interface
GeForce GTX 280 SLI 512 Bit 65 nm 1400 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce GTX 280 512 Bit 65 nm 1400 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce GTX 260 SLI 448 Bit 65 nm 1400 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce GTX 260 448 Bit 65 nm 1400 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 9800 GX2 2x256 Bit 65 nm 2x754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 9800 GTX SLI 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 9800 GTX 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 9600 GT SLI 256 Bit 65 nm 505 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 9600 GT 256 Bit 65 nm 505 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 8800 GTS OC 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 8800 GTS 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 8800 GT SLI 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 8800 GT 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 8800 GT SLI 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 8800 GT 256 Bit 65 nm 754 MB PCIe 2.0
GeForce 8800 Ultra SLI 384 Bit 90 nm 681 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8800 Ultra 384 Bit 90 nm 681 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8800 GTX 384 Bit 90 nm 681 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 Bit 90 nm 681 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI 320 Bit 90 nm 681 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 Bit 90 nm 681 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8600 GTS 128 Bit 80 nm 289 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8600 GTS SLI 128 Bit 80 nm 289 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8600 GTS 128 Bit 80 nm 289 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8600 GT SLI 128 Bit 80 nm 289 MB PCIe 1
GeForce 8600 GT 128 Bit 80 nm 289 MB PCIe 1

AMD graphics cards
Chip Code name Memory GPU rate Shader Memory rate SPs
Radeon HD 4870 CF RV770 512 MB GDDR5 750 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 800
Radeon HD 4870 RV770 512 MB GDDR5 750 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 800
Radeon HD 4850 CF RV770 512 MB GDDR3 625 MHz 4.1 1986 MHz 800
Radeon HD 4850 RV770 512 MB GDDR3 625 MHz 4.1 1986 MHz 800
Radeon HD 3870 X2 R680 2x512 MB GDDR3 825 MHz 4.1 1802 MHz 2x320
Radeon HD 3870 CF RV670 512 MB GDDR4 775 MHz 4.1 2252 MHz 320
Radeon HD 3870 RV670 512 MB GDDR4 775 MHz 4.1 2252 MHz 320
Radeon HD 3850 CF RV670 256 MB GDDR3 670 MHz 4.1 1658 MHz 320
Radeon HD 3850 RV670 256 MB GDDR3 670 MHz 4.1 1658 MHz 320
Radeon HD 3650 CF RV635 512 MB GDDR3 725 MHz 4.1 1602 MHz 120
Radeon HD 3650 RV635 512 MB GDDR3 725 MHz 4.1 1602 MHz 120

Chip Memory bus Manufacturing process Transistors Interface
Radeon HD 4870 CF 256 Bit 55 nm 965 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4870 256 Bit 55 nm 965 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4850 CF 256 Bit 55 nm 965 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4850 256 Bit 55 nm 965 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 3870 X2 2x256 Bit 55 nm 2x666 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 3870 CF 256 Bit 55 nm 666 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 3870 256 Bit 55 nm 666 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 3850 CF 256 Bit 55 nm 666 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 3850 256 Bit 55 nm 666 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 3650 CF 128 Bit 55 nm 378 MB PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 3650 128 Bit 55 nm 378 MB PCIe 2.0

Memory rate = DDR clock rate doubled; physical rate is half
DDR5 clock rate quadrupled, physical rate is one quarter
SPs = stream processors; P and V = Pixel shader and Vertex shader
TC = Turbo Cache
HM = Hyper Memory
OC = Overclocked (clock rate higher than default)
SLI = Parallel operation with 2 Nvidia cards
3 SLI = Parallel operation with 3 Nvidia graphics chips
4 SLI = Parallel operation with 4 Nvidia graphics chips
CF = CrossFire parallel operation with 2 AMD cards
3 CF = CrossFire parallel operation with 3 ATI graphics chips
4 CF = CrossFire parallel operation with 4 ATI graphics chips
R680 = 2x RV670
Shader 2.0 = DirectX 9.0; 3.0 = DirectX 9.0c; 4.0 = DirectX 10; Shader 4.1 = DirectX 10.1

Nvidia single graphics cards, AMD single and CrossFire graphics cards
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 @ 2.93 GHz (11x 266 MHz),
Socket 775, 1.28 V, 65 nm, L2 cache 4096 KB
FSB 1066 MHz (4x 266 MHz)
Motherboard Asus P5E3 Deluxe, PCIe 2.0 2x16, ICH9R
Chipset Intel X38
Memory 2x 1 GB, Ballistix (Crucial Technology) 1.5 V,
DDR3 1066 7-7-7-20 (2x 533 MHz)
Audio Intel High Definition Audio
LAN Intel 1000 Pro
Drives Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500 GB, SATA, 16 MB Cache,
Hitachi 120 GB, SATA, 8 MB Cache
DVD Gigabyte GO-D1600C
Power Supply CoolerMaster RS-850-EMBA 850 W

Nvidia SLI graphics cards
Motherboard Asus P5N-T Deluxe, PCIe 2.0 2x16
Chip set Nvidia nForce 780i SLI
Memory 2x 1 GB, A-Data Technology 1.8 V, DDR2 800 5-5-5-18 (2x 400 MHz)
Audio ADI 1988B SoundMax
LAN Marvell 88E1116 Gigabit

Drivers & Configuration
Graphics AMD Catalyst 8.6
Nvidia ForceWare 175.16, GTX 260 and GTX 280 Forceware 177.39
Operating system Windows Vista Enterprise SP1
DirectX 10 and 10.1
Chipset driver X38 Intel 8.3.1.1009
780i Nvidia nForce 9.64

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