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GeForce GTX 560 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 560 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 810 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1001 MHz on this specific card. It features 336 SPUs as well as 56 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1200 MHz on this specific model. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7870 should theoretically be a bit superior to 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 should be a lot (approximately 76%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 560. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is the winner, by far. (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

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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

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Model GeForce GTX 560 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year May 2011 March 2012
Code Name GF114 Pitcairn XT
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 810 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 4004 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 128128 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 45360 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 25920 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 336 1280
Texture Mapping Units 56 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1950 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics 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 number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends 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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