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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a clock frequency of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1107 MHz. It also makes use of a 512-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It features 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which features clock speeds of 750 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 X2 350 Watts
Difference: 114 Watts (48%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 will be 63% quicker than the GeForce GTX 280 overall, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 230400 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 88704 (63%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be quite a bit (about 25%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 60000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 11840 (25%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is superior to the GeForce GTX 280, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 24000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4736 (25%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 X2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 280 Radeon HD 4870 X2
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 Aug 12, 2008
Code Name G200 R700
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 602 MHz 750 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 3600 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 350 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 230400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 60000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 24000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 80 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 32 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65 nm 55 nm
Transistors 1400 million 956 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge)
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units 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 applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 X2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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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