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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 frequency at 980 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1502 MHz on this model. It features 960 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 24 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7870, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1200 MHz on this specific card. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Benchmarks

These are real-world performance benchmarks that were submitted by Hardware Compare users. The scores seen here are the average of all benchmarks submitted for each respective test and hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score

Radeon HD 7870 6230 points
GeForce GTX 660 5063 points
Difference: 1167 (23%)

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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 7870 should 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%) faster with regards to anisotropic 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 should be much (more or less 36%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 660, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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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.

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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