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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 features clock speeds of 772 MHz on the GPU, and 1002 MHz on the 1536 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 512 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870, which has core clock speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
GeForce GTX 580 244 Watts
Difference: 69 Watts (39%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce GTX 580 should in theory perform quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 192384 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 38784 (25%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be a lot (approximately 62%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GTX 580. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 580 49408 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 30592 (62%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 580 is the winner, though not by far. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 37056 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5056 (16%)

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 580

Radeon HD 7870

Specifications

Display Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 580 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2010 March 2012
Code Name GF110 Pitcairn XT
Memory 1536 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 772 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 4008 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 244 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 192384 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 49408 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 37056 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 512 1280
Texture Mapping Units 64 80
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 3000 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 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 max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video 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 the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units 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 output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

GeForce GTX 580

Radeon HD 7870

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