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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 clocked the core speed at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a speed of 1107 MHz on this specific card. It features 240 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6950, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1250 MHz on this particular card. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6950 should in theory be a small 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 will be quite a bit (approximately 46%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 is a lot (approximately 33%) better at anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 280, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions while still performing well. (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 max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once 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 higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card 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 in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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