The primary objective of this work is to characterize and compare the dynamic mechanical behavior of asphalt concrete mixes with styrene butadiene styrene (SBS) polymer and crumb rubber modified asphalt binders with the behavior of mixes with unmodified viscosity grade asphalt binders. Asphalt binders are characterized for their physical and rheological properties. Simple performance tests like dynamic modulus, dynamic and static creep tests are carried out at varying temperatures and time. Dynamic modulus master curves constructed using numerical optimization technique is used to explain the time and temperature dependency of modified and unmodified asphalt binder mixes. Creep parameters estimated through regression analysis explained the permanent deformation characteristics of asphalt concrete mixes. From the dynamic mechanical characterization studies, it is found that asphalt concrete mixes with SBS polymer modified asphalt binder showed significantly higher values of dynamic modulus and reduced rate of deformation at higher temperatures when compared to asphalt concrete mixes with crumb rubber and unmodified asphalt binders. From the concept of energy dissipation, it is found that SBS polymer modification substantially reduces the energy loss at higher temperatures. Multi-factorial analysis of variance carried out using generalized liner model showed that temperature, frequency and asphalt binder type significant influences the mechanical response of asphalt concrete mixes. The mechanical response of SBS polymer modified asphalt binders are significantly correlated with the rutting resistance of asphalt concrete mixes. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.