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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 features a clock speed of 772 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1002 MHz. It also features a 384-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 512 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 48 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7870, which has a clock speed of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It features 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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

In theory, the GeForce GTX 580 should be 25% quicker than the Radeon HD 7870 in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (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 (about 62%) faster with regards to texture filtering 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, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (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

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GeForce GTX 580

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 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once 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 anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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