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GeForce GTX 980 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 980 has a core clock speed of 1126 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1750 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It features 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which has a core clock frequency of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1500 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It features 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation 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 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

In theory, the GeForce GTX 980 should be 17% faster than the Radeon HD 7870 XT overall, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 980 should be a lot (approximately 62%) more effective at texture 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 running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 980 is the winner, by a large margin. (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 maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This 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 a second.

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