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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 uses a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 772 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1002 MHz on this card. It features 512 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7850, which features clock speeds of 860 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator 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 in theory perform quite a bit 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 a small bit (more or less 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 superior to the Radeon HD 7850, 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 data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

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

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