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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon R9 270X

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 features a clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 270X, which features core clock speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1400 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator 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

Performance-wise, the Radeon R9 270X should in theory be a bit better than 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 is just a bit (about 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 a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon R9 270X is a better choice, not by a very large margin though. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel 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 ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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