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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Radeon HD 3870

Reasons to consider the
Sapphire Radeon HD 3870

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Higher clock speed 825 MHz vs 650 MHz More than 25% higher clock speed
Higher effective memory clock speed 2,400 MHz vs 1,800 MHz Around 35% higher effective memory clock speed
Higher memory bandwidth 76.8 GB/s vs 57.6 GB/s Around 35% higher memory bandwidth
Higher memory clock speed 1,200 MHz vs 900 MHz Around 35% higher memory clock speed
More shading units 320 vs 64 256 more shading units
Front view of GeForce GT 9600

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GT 9600

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More texture mapping units 32 vs 16 Twice as many texture mapping units

Features Key features of the Radeon HD 3870  vs GeForce GT 9600 

memory bandwidth Rate at which data can be read from or stored in onboard memory

Radeon HD 3870
76.8 GB/s
GeForce GT 9600
57.6 GB/s

pixel rate Number of pixels a graphics card can render to the screen every second

Radeon HD 3870
13.2 GPixel/s
GeForce GT 9600
10.4 GPixel/s

texture rate Speed at which a graphics card can perform texture mapping

Radeon HD 3870
13.2 GTexel/s
GeForce GT 9600
20.8 GTexel/s

floating point performance How fast the gpu can crunch numbers

Radeon HD 3870
528 GFLOPS
GeForce GT 9600
208 GFLOPS

shading units Subcomponents of the gpu, these run in parallel to enable fast pixel shading

texture mapping units Built into each gpu, these resize and rotate bitmaps for texturing scenes

Reviews Word on the street

Specifications Full list of technical specs

gpu

Radeon HD 3870  vs
GeForce GT 9600 
GPU brand ATI Nvidia
GPU name RV670 XT G94
Market Desktop Desktop
Clock speed 825 MHz 650 MHz
Is dual GPU No No
Reference card ATi Radeon HD 3870 777 MHz 512 MB None

raw performance

Shading units 320 64
Texture mapping units 16 32
Render output processors 16 16
Pixel rate 13.2 GPixel/s 10.4 GPixel/s
Texture rate 13.2 GTexel/s 20.8 GTexel/s
Floating-point performance 528 GFLOPS 208 GFLOPS

memory

Radeon HD 3870  vs
GeForce GT 9600 
Memory clock speed 1,200 MHz 900 MHz
Effective memory clock speed 2,400 MHz 1,800 MHz
Memory bus 256 bit 256 bit
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Memory type GDDR4 DDR3
Memory bandwidth 76.8 GB/s 57.6 GB/s

noise and power

TDP 106W 95W

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