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Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon R9 270

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 has core speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon R9 270, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1400 MHz on this particular card. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon R9 270 150 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Difference: 25 Watts (17%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon R9 270, in theory, should perform a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 in general. (explain)

Radeon R9 270 179200 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (17%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 is a small bit (approximately 11%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon R9 270. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon R9 270 72000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 8000 (11%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be a little bit (approximately 11%) better at FSAA than the Radeon R9 270, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon R9 270 28800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 3200 (11%)

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 7870

Amazon.com

Radeon R9 270

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 7870 Radeon R9 270
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year March 2012 November 2013
Code Name Pitcairn XT Curacao Pro
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 2048 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 1000 MHz 900 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1400 MHz (5600 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1280 1280
Texture Mapping Units 80 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.3
Power (Max TDP) 175 watts 150 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 179200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 80000 Mtexels/sec 72000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 32000 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the 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 processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's 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 fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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