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GeForce GTX 970 vs Radeon R9 280X

Intro

The GeForce GTX 970 comes with core speeds of 1050 MHz on the GPU, and 1750 MHz on the 4096 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1664 SPUs along with 104 Texture Address Units and 64 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon R9 280X, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1500 MHz on this specific card. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Benchmarks

These are real-world performance benchmarks that were submitted by Hardware Compare users. The scores seen here are the average of all benchmarks submitted for each respective test and hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score

GeForce GTX 970 10867 points
Radeon R9 280X 8886 points
Difference: 1981 (22%)

Zcash Mining Hash Rate

Radeon R9 280X 294 Sol/s
GeForce GTX 970 262 Sol/s
Difference: 32 (12%)

Ethereum Mining Hash Rate

Radeon R9 280X 21 Mh/s
GeForce GTX 970 19 Mh/s
Difference: 2 (11%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 970 145 Watts
Radeon R9 280X 250 Watts
Difference: 105 Watts (72%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon R9 280X, in theory, should perform quite a bit faster than the GeForce GTX 970 in general. (explain)

Radeon R9 280X 288000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 970 224000 MB/sec
Difference: 64000 (29%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 970 will be a small bit (approximately 0%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon R9 280X. (explain)

GeForce GTX 970 109200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon R9 280X 108800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 400 (0%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 970 should be quite a bit (approximately 147%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon R9 280X, and capable of handling higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

GeForce GTX 970 67200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon R9 280X 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 40000 (147%)

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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GeForce GTX 970

Amazon.com

Radeon R9 280X

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 GeForce GTX 970 Radeon R9 280X
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2014 October 2013
Code Name GM204-200 Tahiti XTL
Memory 4096 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 1050 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 7000 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 145 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 224000 MB/sec 288000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 109200 Mtexels/sec 108800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 67200 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1664 2048
Texture Mapping Units 104 128
Render Output Units 64 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 5200 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.2 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.5 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

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

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 970

Amazon.com

Radeon R9 280X

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.

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