Dual-GPU Comparison - 3850x2 vs 3870x2 vs 9800GX2

Test Setup & Specifications

Test Setup
A common mistake made when benchmarking graphics cards is that the rest of the PC system isn't sufficient enough to test the GPU to its limits. This results in a bottleneck situation, where the system can only run at the speed of its slowest component. For this reason, the test configuration chosen below has been specially selected to give each of the graphics cards on test the headroom they require in order to produce the best results.
System Specs
A selection of games and benchmark suites has also been chosen to test each of the cards with several game engines. Each of the cards will be run at both low and high resolutions with varying levels of texture filtering to represent the use of the card with both small and large screen sizes.
1024x768 / 0xAA / 0xAF (Default)
1920x1200 / 4xAA / 0xAF
3DMark 06
1280x1024 / 0xAA / 0xAF
1920x1200 / 4xAA / 0xAF
1280x1024 / Ultra / 4xAA / 4xAF
1920x1200 / Ultra / 4xAA / 4xAF
Unreal Tournament III
1280x1024 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1920x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
Call of Duty 4
1280x1024 / Max / 4xAA / 4xAF
1920x1200 / Max / 4xAA / 4xAF
1280x1024 / Max / 4xAA / 4xAF
1920x1200 / Max / 4xAA / 0xAF
1280x1024 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1920x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1280x1024 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1920x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
To ensure that our testing was as fair as possible, the stock-clocked version of all three cards was chosen from a single manufacturer. Similarly the price of the cards listed above was also extracted from a single retailer - LambdaTek on the 29/05/08. This is extremely important as over the next few pages we will be using these figures to directly calculate how much of your hard earned cash goes on each and every one of those frame refreshes.
3850x2, 3870x2, 9800GX2 Specifications
With almost £100 difference between the NVidia 9800GX2 and the ATI 3870X2, the GX2 is certainly going to have to pull some extremely good numbers in order to get the upper-hand on the more affordable ATI counterparts. Let's get down to business...
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Most Recent Comments

07-06-2008, 12:23:52

"We pit three dual-GPU cards against eachother so see which offers the best performance per pound."


Dual-GPU Comparison - 3850x2 vs 3870x2 vs 9800GX2Quote

07-06-2008, 12:31:10

good review as always

good to see that ATi have actually worked their way into a comfortable spot in the market Quote

07-06-2008, 12:40:29

kool - should be a good read as ive just bought a 9800GX2 and already own a 3870X2Quote

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