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GeForce GTX 260 vs Radeon HD 6970


Intro

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

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6970, which features a GPU core clock speed of 880 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

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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

The Radeon HD 6970, in theory, should perform much faster than the GeForce GTX 260 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 should be much (about 129%) more effective at texture 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 is much (more or less 75%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 260, and also capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's 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 are processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. 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 is also dependant on many other factors, especially 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 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.

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