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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 1107 MHz on this card. It features 240 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5850, which features 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 makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 TAUs, 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 speaking, the GeForce GTX 280 should perform just a 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 is a small bit (about 8%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 should be just a bit (approximately 20%) more effective at AA than the GeForce GTX 280, and able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (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

Display Prices

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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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max 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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