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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a speed of 1107 MHz on this card. It features 240 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7850, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this specific card. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator 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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7850 should in theory be just a bit better than the GeForce GTX 280 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 is 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 is a lot (more or less 43%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 280, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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

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 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 MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 280

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.

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