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GeForce GTX 1060 3GB vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 1060 3GB has clock speeds of 1506 MHz on the GPU, and 2000 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1152 SPUs along with 72 Texture Address Units and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which comes with a core clock speed of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1500 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 120 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
Difference: 65 Watts (54%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB is 2% quicker than the Radeon HD 7870 XT overall, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 196608 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Difference: 4608 (2%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 1060 3GB should be a lot (more or less 22%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 7870 XT. (explain)

GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 108432 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 19632 (22%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB is superior to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 72288 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 42688 (144%)

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 1060 3GB

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

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 1060 3GB Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year August 2016 November 2012
Code Name GP106-300 Tahiti LE
Memory 3072 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 1506 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 8000 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 120 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 196608 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 108432 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 72288 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1152 1536
Texture Mapping Units 72 96
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 192-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 16 nm 28 nm
Transistors 4400 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 12.0 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.5 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video 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 maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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