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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 has a GPU core speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also is made up of 240 Stream Processors, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7950, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this specific card. It features 1792 SPUs along with 112 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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

The Radeon HD 7950, in theory, should perform much faster than 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 a lot (approximately 86%) more effective 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 using lots of anti-aliasing 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

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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

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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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (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 bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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