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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 772 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1002 MHz on this model. It features 512 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870, which has a core clock speed of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It features 1280 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation 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

In theory, the GeForce GTX 580 should be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 overall. (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%) 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 is a small bit (approximately 16%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 7870, and will be capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (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 max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the 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 are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as 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, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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