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GeForce GTX 660 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 660 makes use of a 28 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 980 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1502 MHz on this specific card. It features 960 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 24 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870, which has a GPU core clock speed of 1000 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1280 Stream Processors, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 660 140 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Difference: 35 Watts (25%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 7870 should in theory be just a bit faster than the GeForce GTX 660 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 660 144192 MB/sec
Difference: 9408 (7%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be a little bit (approximately 2%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 660. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 660 78400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1600 (2%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be a lot (approximately 36%) better at FSAA than the GeForce GTX 660, and capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 660 23520 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8480 (36%)

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 660

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7870

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 660 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2012 March 2012
Code Name GK106 Pitcairn XT
Memory 2048 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 980 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 6008 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 140 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 144192 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 78400 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23520 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 960 1280
Texture Mapping Units 80 80
Render Output Units 24 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 192-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2540 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.0 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.3 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video 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 maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Comments

2 Responses to “GeForce GTX 660 vs Radeon HD 7870”
Lange Überlegung - Kaufentscheidung - Gaming PC - Hilfe benötigt. - netzwelt.de Forum says:

[...] von AMD. Preislich auch um die 200€. Wenn du einen Vergleich deiner 660 und der 7870 möchtest Vergleich 660 mit 7870 Hierbei muss jedoch beachtet werden, das dieser Vergleich nur auf den reinen Daten basiert. [...]

LEEROY says:

HD 7870 is fair bit faster on paper, but the difference is greater in real world applications. Depending on the price (near enough identical in Australia, as of March 2013), go the HD7870. GTX660 is crippled by its memory bandwidth :c

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