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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon R9 280X


Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 comes with a core clock speed 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 that to the Radeon R9 280X, which comes with GPU clock speed of 850 MHz, and 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1500 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also is made up of 2048 Stream Processors, 128 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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, in theory, should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 5870 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 280X will be a lot (about 60%) better at AF 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 exactly the same pixel fill rate, so theoretically they should be equally good at at AA, and be capable of handling 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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it must 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 AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Radeon HD 5870

Radeon R9 280X

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