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GeForce GTX 560 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 560 has a clock frequency of 810 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1001 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 336 SPUs, 56 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with GPU core speed of 1000 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1280 Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 560 150 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Difference: 25 Watts (17%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7870 should in theory be a little bit better than the GeForce GTX 560 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 560 128128 MB/sec
Difference: 25472 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be a lot (more or less 76%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 560. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 560 45360 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 34640 (76%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be much (about 23%) better at AA than the GeForce GTX 560, and also will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 560 25920 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6080 (23%)

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 560

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7870

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 560 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year May 2011 March 2012
Code Name GF114 Pitcairn XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 810 MHz 1000 MHz
Shader Speed 1600 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1001 MHz (4004 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 336 1280
Texture Mapping Units 56 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 175 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 128128 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 45360 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 25920 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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