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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a speed of 1107 MHz on this specific model. It features 240 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6950, which features a clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 36 Watts (18%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6950 should theoretically be a little bit superior to the GeForce GTX 280 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 18304 (13%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 is much (about 46%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 22240 (46%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6950 is the winner, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6336 (33%)

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 6950

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 6950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 December 2010
Code Name G200 Cayman Pro
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1408
Texture Mapping Units 80 88
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2640 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 information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's 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 processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one 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 Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950

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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