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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon R9 270X

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 has a GPU clock speed of 850 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon R9 270X, which has a core clock frequency of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1400 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon R9 270X 180 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 8 Watts (4%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon R9 270X should theoretically be just a bit superior to the Radeon HD 5870 overall. (explain)

Radeon R9 270X 179200 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (17%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 270X will be a little bit (approximately 18%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5870. (explain)

Radeon R9 270X 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 12000 (18%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon R9 270X is the winner, but not by far. (explain)

Radeon R9 270X 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4800 (18%)

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

Radeon HD 5870

Amazon.com

Radeon R9 270X

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

Model Radeon HD 5870 Radeon R9 270X
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 October 2013
Code Name Cypress XT Curacao XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 1000 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1400 MHz (5600 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 1280
Texture Mapping Units 80 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.3
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 180 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 179200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a 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 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a 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. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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