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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 features a clock speed of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1107 MHz. It also makes use of a 512-bit bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It is made up of 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7950, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this particular model. It features 1792 SPUs as well as 112 TAUs 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

The Radeon HD 7950, in theory, should perform much faster than the GeForce GTX 280 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 should be quite a bit (about 86%) better at AF than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7950 is superior to the GeForce GTX 280, and very much so. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics 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 that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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