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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 has a GPU core clock speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also is comprised of 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a frequency of 993 MHz on this card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units 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 1GB 250 Watts
Difference: 14 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 280 should in theory be just a bit better than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 127104 MB/sec
Difference: 14592 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB is just a bit (about 4%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 50000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1840 (4%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB is superior to the GeForce GTX 280, but not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 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 1GB

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 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 Nov 7, 2008
Code Name G200 R700
Memory 1024 MB 1024 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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video 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 chip can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka 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, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB

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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