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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon R9 280X

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 has a GPU core clock speed of 850 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1600(320x5) Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon R9 280X, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1500 MHz on this model. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Radeon R9 280X 250 Watts
Difference: 62 Watts (33%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon R9 280X should theoretically be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 5870 overall. (explain)

Radeon R9 280X 288000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 134400 (88%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 280X will be quite a bit (about 60%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 5870. (explain)

Radeon R9 280X 108800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 40800 (60%)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have the exact same pixel fill rate, so theoretically they should be equally good at at AA, and be able to handle the same screen resolutions. (explain)

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

Radeon R9 280X

Specifications

Display Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 5870 Radeon R9 280X
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 October 2013
Code Name Cypress XT Tahiti XTL
Memory 1024 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 288000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 108800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 2048
Texture Mapping Units 80 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2154 million 4313 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 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 AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video 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 most pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Radeon HD 5870

Radeon R9 280X

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