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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a frequency of 1107 MHz on this particular card. It features 240 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6970, which has GPU core speed of 880 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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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 should be 24% faster than the GeForce GTX 280 in general, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 should be quite a bit (about 75%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 will be a lot (more or less 46%) better at FSAA than the GeForce GTX 280, and able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (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 across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. 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 are applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

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

Display Prices

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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.

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