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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a GPU core speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also is made up of 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with a clock frequency of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 85 Watts (56%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the GeForce GTX 280 should be a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 5850 in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 13696 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 should be a small bit (about 8%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4040 (8%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5850 is the winner, though not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 3936 (20%)

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.

Price Comparison

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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.

Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 280 Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name G200 Cypress PRO
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 725 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 80 72
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes 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 the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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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