Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6870
IntroThe GeForce GTX 280 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core frequency at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a frequency of 1107 MHz on this particular card. It features 240 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6870, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1050 MHz on this specific model. It features 1120 SPUs as well as 56 TAUs and 32 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
In theory, the GeForce GTX 280 is 5% quicker than the Radeon HD 6870 in general, due to its greater data rate. (explain)
Texel RateThe Radeon HD 6870 should be a small bit (about 5%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)
Pixel RateIf running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)
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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.