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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 clocked the core frequency at 1006 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1502 MHz on this particular model. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 128 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5870, which comes with core clock speeds of 850 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

(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, in theory, should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 5870 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Geforce GTX 680 should be quite a bit (about 89%) better at texture 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 running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Geforce GTX 680 is a better choice, though only just barely. (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

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

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 1502 MHz (6008 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If 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 higher screen 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 number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the 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 the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called 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 - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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