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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1107 MHz on this model. It features 240 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6850, which comes with GPU core speed of 775 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 960 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 109 Watts (86%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 280 should in theory be just a bit superior to the Radeon HD 6850 in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 13696 (11%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 280 should be quite a bit (approximately 29%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 10960 (29%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6850 will be a lot (approximately 29%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce GTX 280, and capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 5536 (29%)

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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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6850

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 6850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 October 2010
Code Name G200 Barts Pro
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 960
Texture Mapping Units 80 48
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1400 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 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 anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core 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 also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6850

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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