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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6870

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 bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It features 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6870, which has a core clock speed of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1050 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1120 SPUs, 56 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6870 151 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 85 Watts (56%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 280 will be 5% quicker than the Radeon HD 6870 in general, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6870 134400 MB/sec
Difference: 7296 (5%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 will be a little bit (more or less 5%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 50400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 2240 (5%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is the winner, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 28800 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 9536 (50%)

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 6870

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 6870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 October 2010
Code Name G200 Barts XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 900 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 4200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1120
Texture Mapping Units 80 56
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 maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher 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 number is calculated by multiplying the total amount 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 processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6870

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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