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GeForce GTX 1060 3GB vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 1060 3GB comes with a clock frequency of 1506 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 2000 MHz. It also makes use of a 192-bit bus, and uses a 16 nm design. It is comprised of 1152 SPUs, 72 TAUs, and 48 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 bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1536 SPUs, 96 Texture Address Units, 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

The GeForce GTX 1060 3GB should in theory perform a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 XT in general. (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 much (approximately 22%) better at anisotropic 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

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB is a better choice, 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

GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

Radeon HD 7870 XT

Specifications

Display 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 largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

Radeon HD 7870 XT

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