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Geforce GTX 680 vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Geforce GTX 680 has core clock speeds of 1006 MHz on the GPU, and 1502 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1536 SPUs along with 128 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5870, which comes with a clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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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

Theoretically speaking, the Geforce GTX 680 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 will be quite a bit (more or less 89%) more effective 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 high levels of AA is important to you, then the Geforce GTX 680 is the winner, not by a very large margin though. (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

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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

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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
Memory 2048 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 1006 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 6008 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 195 watts 188 watts
Bandwidth 192256 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 128768 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 32192 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
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
Fab Process 28 nm 40 nm
Transistors 3540 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.0 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. 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 is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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