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GeForce GTX 970 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 970 comes with a GPU core clock speed of 1050 MHz, and the 4096 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1750 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1664 SPUs, 104 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which comes with core speeds of 925 MHz on the GPU, and 1500 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 Texture Address Units 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 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 theoretically be a bit superior to the Radeon HD 7870 XT overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 970 will be much (about 23%) better at texture filtering 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

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 970 is the winner, by a large margin. (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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs 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 also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach 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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