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GeForce GTX 590 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 590 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 607 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 855 MHz on this particular card. It features 512 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which features a GPU core clock speed of 925 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1500 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1536 Stream Processors, 96 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

GeForce GTX 590 6680 points
Radeon HD 7870 XT 6390 points
Difference: 290 (5%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
GeForce GTX 590 365 Watts
Difference: 180 Watts (97%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 590 should perform much faster than the Radeon HD 7870 XT in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 590 328320 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Difference: 136320 (71%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT should be a little bit (more or less 14%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 590. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 590 77696 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 11104 (14%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 590 is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

GeForce GTX 590 58272 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 28672 (97%)

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 590

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

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 590 Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2011 November 2012
Code Name GF110 Tahiti LE
Memory 1536 MB (x2) 2048 MB
Core Speed 607 MHz (x2) 925 MHz
Memory Speed 3420 MHz (x2) 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 365 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 328320 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 77696 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 58272 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 512 (x2) 1536
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 96
Render Output Units 48 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 3000 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better 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 can be applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the 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 the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 590

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

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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