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GeForce GTX 280 vs GeForce GTX 660

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a frequency of 1107 MHz on this card. It features 240 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the GeForce GTX 660, which uses a 28 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 980 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1502 MHz on this particular model. It features 960 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 24 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 660 140 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 96 Watts (69%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce GTX 660, in theory, should perform a small bit faster than the GeForce GTX 280 in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 660 144192 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 2496 (2%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 660 should be a lot (more or less 63%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

GeForce GTX 660 78400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 30240 (63%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 660 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 660 23520 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4256 (22%)

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 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GTX 660

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 280 GeForce GTX 660
Manufacturer nVidia nVidia
Year June 17, 2008 September 2012
Code Name G200 GK106
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 980 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 6008 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 140 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 144192 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 78400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 23520 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 960
Texture Mapping Units 80 80
Render Output Units 32 24
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 192-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2540 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.0
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the 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 that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

GeForce GTX 660

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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