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Radeon R9 280 vs Radeon RX 590

Intro

The Radeon R9 280 features a GPU clock speed of 933 MHz, and the 3072 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1250 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1792 SPUs, 112 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon RX 590, which uses a 12 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 1469 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a speed of 2000 MHz on this specific card. It features 2304 SPUs as well as 144 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon RX 590 175 Watts
Radeon R9 280 250 Watts
Difference: 75 Watts (43%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon RX 590 is 9% faster than the Radeon R9 280 in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

Radeon RX 590 262144 MB/sec
Radeon R9 280 240000 MB/sec
Difference: 22144 (9%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon RX 590 will be much (more or less 102%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon R9 280. (explain)

Radeon RX 590 211536 Mtexels/sec
Radeon R9 280 104496 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 107040 (102%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon RX 590 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon RX 590 47008 Mpixels/sec
Radeon R9 280 29856 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 17152 (57%)

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 R9 280

Amazon.com

Radeon RX 590

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 Radeon R9 280 Radeon RX 590
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year March 2014 November 2018
Code Name Tahiti Pro Polaris 30
Memory 3072 MB 8192 MB
Core Speed 933 MHz 1469 MHz
Memory Speed 5000 MHz 8000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 240000 MB/sec 262144 MB/sec
Texel Rate 104496 Mtexels/sec 211536 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 29856 Mpixels/sec 47008 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1792 2304
Texture Mapping Units 112 144
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 12 nm
Transistors 4313 million 5700 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.2 DirectX 12.0
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.3 OpenGL 4.5

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called 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 - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon R9 280

Amazon.com

Radeon RX 590

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.

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