Compare any two graphics cards:
Radeon HD 3870 512MB vs Radeon R9 M290X
IntroThe Radeon HD 3870 512MB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 775 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a speed of 900 MHz on this card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.
Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 M290X, which has a clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1280 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
As far as performance goes, the Radeon R9 M290X should theoretically be much better than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe Radeon R9 M290X is quite a bit (about 448%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)
Pixel RateThe Radeon R9 M290X will be quite a bit (about 119%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, and also capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)
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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher 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 in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.