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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a speed of 1107 MHz on this specific card. It features 240 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB, which comes with core speeds of 625 MHz on the GPU, and 993 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 250 Watts
Difference: 14 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce GTX 280 is 11% quicker than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 127104 MB/sec
Difference: 14592 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB will be just a bit (more or less 4%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 50000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1840 (4%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB is the winner, though not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 20000 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 736 (4%)

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 4850 X2 512MB

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 4850 X2 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 Nov 7, 2008
Code Name G200 R700
Memory 1024 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 602 MHz 625 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 1986 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 127104 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 50000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 20000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 80 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 32 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
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 max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

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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