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Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon R9 270

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 comes with a GPU core speed of 1000 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 270, which comes with GPU clock speed of 900 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1400 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1280 Stream Processors, 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

In theory, the Radeon R9 270 should be a little 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 will be a small bit (more or less 11%) faster with regards to AF 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 a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is the winner, though 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

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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

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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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock 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 fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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