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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a GPU clock speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also is made up of 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6970, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this specific card. It features 1536 SPUs along with 96 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 14 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 6970 will be 24% quicker than the GeForce GTX 280 overall, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 34304 (24%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 is quite a bit (about 75%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 36320 (75%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is superior to the GeForce GTX 280, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8896 (46%)

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 6970

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 6970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 December 2010
Code Name G200 Cayman XT
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 880 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 176000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 84480 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 28160 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1536
Texture Mapping Units 80 96
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 MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out 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 outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6970

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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