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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 features 240 Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7950, which has clock speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 1536 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1792 SPUs along with 112 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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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

In theory, the Radeon HD 7950 will be 69% quicker than the GeForce GTX 280 overall, because of its greater bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 should be a lot (approximately 86%) better 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

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7950 is a better choice, by a large margin. (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

Radeon HD 7950

Specifications

Display Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 280 Radeon HD 7950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 January 2012
Code Name G200 Tahiti Pro
Memory 1024 MB 1536 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 240000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 89600 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1792
Texture Mapping Units 80 112
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1400 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once 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, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card 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 clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

GeForce GTX 280

Radeon HD 7950

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