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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 comes with core clock speeds of 772 MHz on the GPU, and 1002 MHz on the 1536 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 512 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 48 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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 be 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 is a lot (more or less 62%) more effective at 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 a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 580 is the winner, but 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

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 580 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2010 March 2012
Code Name GF110 Pitcairn XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1536 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 772 MHz 1000 MHz
Shader Speed 1544 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1002 MHz (4008 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 512 1280
Texture Mapping Units 64 80
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 244 watts 175 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 192384 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 49408 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 37056 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock 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 number of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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