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GeForce GTX 260 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 260 features a clock frequency of 576 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 999 MHz. It also uses a 448-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It is comprised of 192 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 28 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with a core clock speed 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.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
GeForce GTX 260 182 Watts
Difference: 31 Watts (21%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 5850, in theory, should perform a little bit faster than the GeForce GTX 260 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 260 111888 MB/sec
Difference: 16112 (14%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 will be a lot (approximately 42%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce GTX 260. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 260 36864 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 15336 (42%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5850 is the winner, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 260 16128 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 7072 (44%)

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 260

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 260 Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 16, 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name G200 Cypress PRO
Memory 896 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 576 MHz 725 MHz
Memory Speed 1998 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 182 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 111888 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 36864 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 16128 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 192 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 72
Render Output Units 28 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 448-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 (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 260

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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