A Question

Compare any two graphics cards:
VS

GeForce GTX 260 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 260 features core speeds of 576 MHz on the GPU, and 999 MHz on the 896 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 192 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 28 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6970, which comes with clock 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 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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

In theory, the Radeon HD 6970 should perform a lot faster than the GeForce GTX 260 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 is quite a bit (approximately 129%) faster with regards to 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

The Radeon HD 6970 should be much (approximately 75%) better at FSAA than the GeForce GTX 260, and able to handle higher resolutions better. (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

Display Prices

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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

Display 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
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
Memory 896 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 576 MHz 880 MHz
Shader Speed 1242 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1998 MHz 5500 MHz
Unified Shaders 192 1536
Texture Mapping Units 64 96
Render Output Units 28 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 448-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 182 watts 250 watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 111888 MB/sec 176000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 36864 Mtexels/sec 84480 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 16128 Mpixels/sec 28160 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 are applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core 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 output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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