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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1107 MHz on this specific card. It features 240 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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 will be 11% faster than the Radeon HD 5850 overall, due to its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 will be a little bit (about 8%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5850 is a better choice, not by a very large margin though. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units 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 amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the 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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