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Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon R9 270

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1200 MHz on this particular model. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon R9 270, which has a clock frequency of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1400 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It features 1280 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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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

Performance-wise, the Radeon R9 270 should theoretically be just a bit superior to 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 bit (approximately 11%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon R9 270. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is the winner, but not by far. (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

Radeon R9 270

Specifications

Display Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 7870 Radeon R9 270
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year March 2012 November 2013
Code Name Pitcairn XT Curacao Pro
Memory 2048 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 1000 MHz 900 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 5600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 175 watts 150 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 179200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 80000 Mtexels/sec 72000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 32000 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1280 1280
Texture Mapping Units 80 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2800 million 2800 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 data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Radeon HD 7870

Radeon R9 270

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