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Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon R9 M290X

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 features a GPU clock speed of 1000 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1280 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 M290X, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1200 MHz on this particular model. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon R9 M290X 100 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Difference: 75 Watts (75%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be a bit (approximately 18%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon R9 M290X. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon R9 M290X 68000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 12000 (18%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 is a small bit (about 18%) more effective at FSAA than the Radeon R9 M290X, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon R9 M290X 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4800 (18%)

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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Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon R9 M290X

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 Radeon HD 7870 Radeon R9 M290X
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year March 2012 May 1 2014
Code Name Pitcairn XT Neptune XT
Memory 2048 MB 4096 MB
Core Speed 1000 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 175 watts 100 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 80000 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 32000 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1280 1280
Texture Mapping Units 80 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2800 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core 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 processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly record to the 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 sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon R9 M290X

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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