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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 features a core clock speed of 772 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1002 MHz. It also features a 384-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 512 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 48 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7850, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1200 MHz on this card. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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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

Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 580 should in theory be quite a bit superior to the Radeon HD 7850 in general. (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%) more effective at anisotropic filtering 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 a lot (more or less 35%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7850, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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

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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

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Model GeForce GTX 580 Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2010 March 2012
Code Name GF110 Pitcairn Pro
Memory 1536 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 772 MHz 860 MHz
Memory Speed 4008 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 244 watts 130 watts
Bandwidth 192384 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 49408 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 37056 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 512 1024
Texture Mapping Units 64 64
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 3000 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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