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GeForce GTX 660 vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

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

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5970, which features core speeds of 725 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1600 SPUs as well as 160 TAUs and 64 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 660 140 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 154 Watts (110%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 5970 should perform a lot faster than the GeForce GTX 660 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 660 144192 MB/sec
Difference: 111808 (78%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be much (about 196%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 660. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 660 78400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 153600 (196%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be much (approximately 295%) faster with regards to AA than the GeForce GTX 660, and able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 660 23520 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 69280 (295%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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GeForce GTX 660

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 5970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2012 November 2009
Code Name GK106 Hemlock XT
Memory 2048 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 980 MHz 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 6008 MHz 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 140 watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 144192 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 78400 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23520 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 960 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 80 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 24 64 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 192-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 28 nm 40 nm
Transistors 2540 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.0 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.3 OpenGL 4.1

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 one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 660

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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