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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a clock frequency of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1107 MHz. It also uses a 512-bit memory bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It features 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7850, which has a GPU core clock speed of 860 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1024 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 106 Watts (82%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7850 should in theory be just a bit better than the GeForce GTX 280 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 11904 (8%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 should be a bit (approximately 14%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 6880 (14%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 should be quite a bit (more or less 43%) faster with regards to AA than the GeForce GTX 280, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8256 (43%)

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

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7850

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 7850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 March 2012
Code Name G200 Pitcairn Pro
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 860 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 130 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1024
Texture Mapping Units 80 64
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2800 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 largest amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 are applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7850

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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