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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 has a clock frequency of 772 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1002 MHz. It also makes use of a 384-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 512 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 48 ROPs.

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 RAM. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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

Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 580 should theoretically be a lot superior to 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 much (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

The GeForce GTX 580 will be a small bit (more or less 16%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7870, and capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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 maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially 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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