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A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
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Geforce GTX 680 vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Geforce GTX 680 makes use of a 28 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 1006 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1502 MHz on this specific model. It features 1536 SPUs along with 128 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5870, which has core clock speeds of 850 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Geforce GTX 680 195 Watts
Difference: 7 Watts (4%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Geforce GTX 680 should in theory perform much faster than the Radeon HD 5870 overall. (explain)

Geforce GTX 680 192256 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 38656 (25%)

Texel Rate

The Geforce GTX 680 will be a lot (more or less 89%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5870. (explain)

Geforce GTX 680 128768 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 60768 (89%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Geforce GTX 680 is the winner, but not by far. (explain)

Geforce GTX 680 32192 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4992 (18%)

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

Display Prices

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Geforce GTX 680

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 5870

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

Display Specifications

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Model Geforce GTX 680 Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2012 September 23, 2009
Code Name GK104 Cypress XT
Fab Process 28 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
Memory 2048 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 1006 MHz 850 MHz
Shader Speed 1006 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 6008 MHz 4800 MHz
Unified Shaders 1536 1600(320x5)
Texture Mapping Units 128 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11.0 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 3.2
Power (Max TDP) 195 watts 188 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 192256 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 128768 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 32192 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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