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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a core clock frequency of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1107 MHz. It also features a 512-bit bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It is comprised of 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7870, which has core speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units 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

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7870 should theoretically be just a bit better than the GeForce GTX 280 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be much (more or less 66%) better at 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 lots of anti-aliasing 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of 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.

Display Prices

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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.

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