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A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
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GeForce GTX 480 vs GeForce GTX 560

Intro

The GeForce GTX 480 has core speeds of 700 MHz on the GPU, and 924 MHz on the 1536 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 480 SPUs as well as 60 Texture Address Units and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the GeForce GTX 560, which comes with a clock frequency of 810 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1001 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 336 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 560 150 Watts
GeForce GTX 480 250 Watts
Difference: 100 Watts (67%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 480 should be 38% faster than the GeForce GTX 560 overall, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 177408 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 560 128128 MB/sec
Difference: 49280 (38%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 560 should be a small bit (more or less 8%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 480. (explain)

GeForce GTX 560 45360 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 480 42000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3360 (8%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 480 should be quite a bit (about 30%) more effective at FSAA than the GeForce GTX 560, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 33600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 560 25920 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 7680 (30%)

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 480

Amazon.com

GeForce GTX 560

Amazon.com

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

Display Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 480 GeForce GTX 560
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year March 2010 May 2011
Code Name GF100 GF114
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
Memory 1536 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 700 MHz 810 MHz
Shader Speed 1401 MHz 1600 MHz
Memory Speed 3696 MHz 4004 MHz
Unified Shaders 480 336
Texture Mapping Units 60 56
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 150 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 177408 MB/sec 128128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 42000 Mtexels/sec 45360 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 33600 Mpixels/sec 25920 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could 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 ROPs by the the core clock speed. 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 quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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