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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 772 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1002 MHz on this particular model. It features 512 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 48 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7850, which comes with a clock frequency of 860 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1024 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(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

The GeForce GTX 580 should theoretically be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 7850 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 should be just a bit (approximately 11%) more effective 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

The GeForce GTX 580 will be quite a bit (approximately 35%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7850, and also able to handle higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (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 (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure 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 texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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