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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 features a GPU core clock speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also is made up of 240 Stream Processors, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7950, which has a clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 384-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It features 1792 SPUs, 112 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7950 200 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 36 Watts (18%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7950 should in theory be much superior to the GeForce GTX 280 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 240000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 98304 (69%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 will be quite a bit (more or less 86%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 89600 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 41440 (86%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 is quite a bit (approximately 33%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 280, and able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 25600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6336 (33%)

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

GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7950

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

Model GeForce GTX 280 Radeon HD 7950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 January 2012
Code Name G200 Tahiti Pro
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 1536 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed 1296 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1107 MHz (2214 MHz effective) 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 240 1792
Texture Mapping Units 80 112
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 384-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 200 watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 240000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 89600 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling 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 the video card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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