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Radeon HD 7970 vs Radeon R9 280X


The Radeon HD 7970 comes with a core clock frequency of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1375 MHz. It also uses a 384-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon R9 280X, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1500 MHz on this particular model. It features 2048 SPUs along with 128 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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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

Radeon R9 280X 8886 points
Radeon HD 7970 8225 points
Difference: 661 (8%)

Ethereum Mining Hash Rate

Radeon HD 7970 21 Mh/s
Radeon R9 280X 21 Mh/s
Difference: 0 (0%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Both cards have the same power consumption.

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon R9 280X should be a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7970 overall. (explain)

Radeon R9 280X 288000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7970 264000 MB/sec
Difference: 24000 (9%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 should be a little bit (approximately 9%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon R9 280X. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 118400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon R9 280X 108800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 9600 (9%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 will be a small bit (about 9%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon R9 280X, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 29600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon R9 280X 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2400 (9%)

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 7970

Check prices at:

Radeon R9 280X

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.


Display Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 7970 Radeon R9 280X
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year January 2012 October 2013
Code Name Tahiti XT Tahiti XTL
Memory 3072 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 925 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 5500 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 264000 MB/sec 288000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 118400 Mtexels/sec 108800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 29600 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 2048 2048
Texture Mapping Units 128 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 4313 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units 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 output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 7970

Check prices at:

Radeon R9 280X

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.


15 Responses to “Radeon HD 7970 vs Radeon R9 280X”
KENT says:

That's interesting. If 280x more slowly than 7970, why is it called better than 7970 ghz edition ?


I hope that you know Hardware comparison is wrong ah?

Roman says:

This is all hypothetical since it's all specs and not actual benchmarks. Honestly the 7970 GHz and most of the 280x models are exactly the same in performance.

Oli says:

Not exactly ... the 7970 GHz is a little bit faster, but the r9 280's price is much lower.

megaspeed2 says:

these stats are wrong... the base clock of the 280x is like a power saving mode, not to be used in gaming. the 280x is, when being used on the gaming clock speeds better in every way than a HD7970.

of course its only a bit better because it is just a HD7970 with clock speeds increased but thats beside the point.

john says:

amd price goughing, thats really nice
7970 practically the same hardware with a 280x
consumers are so stupid, i expected better from computer nerds but im wrong

even with nvidia people have been taking it in the ass ever since
go amd milk everybody's tits, thats the way its been done, learn from your arch nemesis

biosat says:

The only diference between R9 280X and HD 7970 is the package.

govi says:

I do want to point out the clock speed on here are wrong, by quite a lot and this website doesn't include the 7970 ghz edition.

The normal clock speeds of a r9 280x are 1100 (1150 with boost) core and 1600 (6400 effective) memory speed.

LarsV12 says:

Well, many sites have done a comprehensive, side-by-side comparison test on these two cards. It's no secret they have the same gpu architecture - with the 280x being a little better in power efficiency under full load. The 280x is simply a rebranded (and supposedly reworked) Tahiti core. If you've got the 7970, you can also xf it with a 280x. If you're looking to upgrade from lesser cards, try looking around for a cheaper, 2nd hand 7970, as it slightly outperforms the 280x in most 3D gaming scenarios.

Glen says:

7950 will also crossfire with the 280x. Just as the 7970 and 7950 will crossfire. Work's very well indeed.

manuel says:

ya pero no sale la MSI Radeon R9 280X Gaming ((6GB)) GDDR5

la comparacion cambiaria creo yo aun que no demasiado pero si se notaria sobretodo en los filtros no?

luuk says:

sooo much wrong knowings about this subject.... its simple, the amd HD 7970 is older, the r9 280x is newer. the r9 280x is just an amd hd 7970, but its newer so its slightly faster. same hardware, same chip ( tahiti ) same memory. one thing is wrong here, i have the r9 280x vapor-x and it doesnt has 850mhz, it has 1050 mhz at default clock speed.... so yea, the r9 280x is better but depends on which one you buy! the msi one or the vapor-x? there's a huge different.

better said: R9 280x is better in every single way of use compared to the HD series ( not talking about the dual-core gpu's )

BOSS says:

this is not correct!!! look on GPU BOSS,this website is bullshitt!!! R9 280X is better than 7970

God says:

the only difference is
7970 pcie 2.1
r9 280x pcie 3.0

El Big Dick says:

hehe i dont care

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