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GeForce GTX 970 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 970 features a core clock frequency of 1050 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1750 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1664 SPUs, 104 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which comes with a clock frequency of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1500 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

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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 HD 7870 XT 6390 points
Difference: 4477 (70%)

Ethereum Mining Hash Rate

GeForce GTX 970 19 Mh/s
Radeon HD 7870 XT 15 Mh/s
Difference: 4 (27%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 970 145 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
Difference: 40 Watts (28%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 970 should in theory be a bit better than the Radeon HD 7870 XT in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 970 224000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Difference: 32000 (17%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 970 should be a lot (more or less 23%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 7870 XT. (explain)

GeForce GTX 970 109200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 20400 (23%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 970 will be much (approximately 127%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7870 XT, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

GeForce GTX 970 67200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 37600 (127%)

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

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Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2014 November 2012
Code Name GM204-200 Tahiti LE
Memory 4096 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 1050 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 7000 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 145 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 224000 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 109200 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 67200 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1664 1536
Texture Mapping Units 104 96
Render Output Units 64 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-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 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.5 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could 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 the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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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