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GeForce GTX 980 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 980 uses a 28 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 1126 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1750 MHz on this particular card. It features 2048 SPUs along with 128 Texture Address Units and 64 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which features clock speeds of 925 MHz on the GPU, and 1500 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1536 SPUs along with 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 980 13552 points
Radeon HD 7870 XT 6390 points
Difference: 7162 (112%)

Ethereum Mining Hash Rate

GeForce GTX 980 20 Mh/s
Radeon HD 7870 XT 15 Mh/s
Difference: 5 (33%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 980 165 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
Difference: 20 Watts (12%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 980 is 17% faster than the Radeon HD 7870 XT in general, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

GeForce GTX 980 224000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Difference: 32000 (17%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 980 is a lot (more or less 62%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 7870 XT. (explain)

GeForce GTX 980 144128 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 55328 (62%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 980 is a better choice, by far. (explain)

GeForce GTX 980 72064 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 42464 (143%)

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 980

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 980 Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2014 November 2012
Code Name GM204-400 Tahiti LE
Memory 4096 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 1126 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 7000 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 165 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 224000 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 144128 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 72064 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 2048 1536
Texture Mapping Units 128 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 largest amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

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

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 980

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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