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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a GPU core clock speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also is comprised of 240 Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7950, which comes with a core clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 384-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It features 1792 SPUs, 112 TAUs, 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 should theoretically be quite a bit 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 (about 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%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 280, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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 max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core 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 fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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