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GeForce GTX 480 vs GeForce GTX 660

Intro

The GeForce GTX 480 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 700 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 924 MHz on this card. It features 480 SPUs as well as 60 Texture Address Units and 48 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the GeForce GTX 660, which has a core clock frequency of 980 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1502 MHz. It also uses a 192-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 960 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 24 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 660 140 Watts
GeForce GTX 480 250 Watts
Difference: 110 Watts (79%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 480 is 23% quicker than the GeForce GTX 660 overall, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 177408 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 660 144192 MB/sec
Difference: 33216 (23%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 660 is quite a bit (approximately 87%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GTX 480. (explain)

GeForce GTX 660 78400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 480 42000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 36400 (87%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 480 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 33600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 660 23520 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10080 (43%)

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 480

Amazon.com

GeForce GTX 660

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 480 GeForce GTX 660
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year March 2010 September 2012
Code Name GF100 GK106
Memory 1536 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 700 MHz 980 MHz
Memory Speed 3696 MHz 6008 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 140 watts
Bandwidth 177408 MB/sec 144192 MB/sec
Texel Rate 42000 Mtexels/sec 78400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 33600 Mpixels/sec 23520 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 480 960
Texture Mapping Units 60 80
Render Output Units 48 24
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 192-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 3000 million 2540 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.0
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics 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 colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Comments

2 Responses to “GeForce GTX 480 vs GeForce GTX 660”
Help! I need a new graphics card. says:

[...] £178.39. Looks like a nice graphics card at not an unreasonable price. Comparing the two, using: HWCompare I am not sure my motherboard can cope & would support the GTX 660's Bus requirement: [...]

DasPootisXD says:

I have money for either one and I need help on deciding on which one I should buy. Other question is: what use is texel rate and how important it is?

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