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GeForce GTX 560 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 560 has a core clock frequency of 810 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1001 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 336 SPUs, 56 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with a clock frequency of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1280 SPUs, 80 TAUs, 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

The Radeon HD 7870 should in theory perform a bit faster 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 (about 76%) better at AF than the GeForce GTX 560. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is superior to the GeForce GTX 560, by a large margin. (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 largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

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

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