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GeForce GTX 260 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 260 comes with a core clock speed of 576 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 999 MHz. It also makes use of a 448-bit bus, and makes use of a 65 nm design. It features 192 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 28 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6970, which comes with core speeds of 880 MHz on the GPU, and 1375 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 260 182 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 68 Watts (37%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 6970 will be 57% quicker than the GeForce GTX 260 in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 260 111888 MB/sec
Difference: 64112 (57%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 will be quite a bit (about 129%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 260. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 260 36864 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 47616 (129%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is a better choice, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 260 16128 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 12032 (75%)

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 260

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 6970

Amazon.com

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 260 Radeon HD 6970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 16, 2008 December 2010
Code Name G200 Cayman XT
Memory 896 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 576 MHz 880 MHz
Memory Speed 1998 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 182 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 111888 MB/sec 176000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 36864 Mtexels/sec 84480 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 16128 Mpixels/sec 28160 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 192 1536
Texture Mapping Units 64 96
Render Output Units 28 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 448-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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core 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 rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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