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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with core clock speeds of 602 MHz on the GPU, and 1107 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 240 SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6870, which features a core clock frequency of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1050 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1120 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, 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

In theory, the GeForce GTX 280 will be 5% faster than the Radeon HD 6870 overall, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 should be a little bit (approximately 5%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is a better choice, by a large margin. (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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once 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, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock 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 processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock 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 also depends 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 maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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