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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 has a GPU core speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also features 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1200 MHz on this particular card. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 61 Watts (35%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 7870 will be 8% quicker than the GeForce GTX 280 overall, because of its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 11904 (8%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be quite a bit (about 66%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 31840 (66%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 12736 (66%)

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 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 280 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 March 2012
Code Name G200 Pitcairn XT
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1280
Texture Mapping Units 80 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the 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 clock 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 fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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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