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Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon R9 270

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 has a clock speed of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It features 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 270, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1400 MHz on this card. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon R9 270 should be 17% quicker than the Radeon HD 7870 in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (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 (about 11%) better at 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

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is superior to the Radeon R9 270, 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

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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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 are applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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