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GeForce GTX 560 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 560 has core speeds of 810 MHz on the GPU, and 1001 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 336 SPUs along with 56 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this particular card. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

(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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7870 will be 20% quicker than the GeForce GTX 560 overall, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be much (approximately 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, and very much so. (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 max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number 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 card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per 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 filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably 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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