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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 has a GPU clock speed of 772 MHz, and the 1536 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1002 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also features 512 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 48 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7850, which features core speeds of 860 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1024 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
GeForce GTX 580 244 Watts
Difference: 114 Watts (88%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 580 should be 25% quicker than the Radeon HD 7850 in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 192384 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 38784 (25%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 will be a small bit (approximately 11%) better at AF than the GeForce GTX 580. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 580 49408 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 5632 (11%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 580 is the winner, by far. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 37056 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 9536 (35%)

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 580

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7850

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 580 Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2010 March 2012
Code Name GF110 Pitcairn Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1536 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 772 MHz 860 MHz
Shader Speed 1544 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1002 MHz (4008 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 512 1024
Texture Mapping Units 64 64
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 244 watts 130 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 192384 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 49408 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 37056 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated 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 card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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