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GeForce GTX 1060 3GB vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 1060 3GB comes with a GPU core clock speed of 1506 MHz, and the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 2000 MHz through a 192-bit bus. It also features 1152 Stream Processors, 72 TAUs, and 48 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which comes with clock speeds of 925 MHz on the GPU, and 1500 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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

In theory, the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB will be 2% faster than the Radeon HD 7870 XT in general, because of its higher bandwidth. (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 will be quite a bit (about 22%) better at texture filtering 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

The GeForce GTX 1060 3GB will be quite a bit (more or less 144%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 7870 XT, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of 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 handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also 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, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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