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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a core clock frequency of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 1107 MHz. It also features a 512-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It is made up of 240 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6970, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this model. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6970 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to the GeForce GTX 280 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 should be much (more or less 75%) better at anisotropic 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 running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is the winner, by a large margin. (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 information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, 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 anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video 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 most pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. 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 lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability 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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