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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 has a core clock speed of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1107 MHz. It also makes use of a 512-bit bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It is made up of 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 4870 1GB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 900 MHz on this model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 1GB 150 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 86 Watts (57%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce GTX 280 should perform much faster than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB overall. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 26496 (23%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 280 should be a lot (more or less 61%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 18160 (61%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 280 is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 7264 (61%)

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

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

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 280 Radeon HD 4870 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name G200 RV770 XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 750 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 3600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 150 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 30000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 12000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 80 40
Render Output Units 32 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 1400 million 956 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour 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 rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

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.

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