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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon R9 270X

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this specific card. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon R9 270X, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1400 MHz on this model. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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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 a little bit superior to the Radeon HD 5870 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 270X should be just a bit (more or less 18%) faster with regards to texture 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 running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon R9 270X is a better choice, though only just barely. (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

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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

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Model Radeon HD 5870 Radeon R9 270X
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 October 2013
Code Name Cypress XT Curacao XT
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 5600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 180 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 179200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
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
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2154 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range 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 figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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