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GeForce GTX 480 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 480 features a clock frequency of 700 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 924 MHz. It also features a 384-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 480 SPUs, 60 TAUs, and 48 Raster Operation Units.

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 frequency of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Benchmarks

These are real-world performance benchmarks that were submitted by Hardware Compare users. The scores seen here are the average of all benchmarks submitted for each respective test and hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score

Radeon HD 7870 6230 points
GeForce GTX 480 3650 points
Difference: 2580 (71%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
GeForce GTX 480 250 Watts
Difference: 75 Watts (43%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce GTX 480, in theory, should be a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 177408 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 23808 (16%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be much (approximately 90%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 480. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 480 42000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 38000 (90%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 480 should be a bit (about 5%) better at FSAA than the Radeon HD 7870, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 33600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1600 (5%)

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 480

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 480 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2010 March 2012
Code Name GF100 Pitcairn XT
Memory 1536 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 700 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 3696 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 177408 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 42000 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 33600 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 480 1280
Texture Mapping Units 60 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 largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, 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 most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core 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 rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 480

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.

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