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GeForce GTX 260 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 260 uses a 65 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 576 MHz. The GDDR3 memory works at a speed of 999 MHz on this card. It features 192 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 28 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6970, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this particular model. It features 1536 SPUs along with 96 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6970 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to 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 (approximately 129%) faster with regards to 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 quite a bit (about 75%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 260, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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
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 999 MHz (1998 MHz effective) 1375 MHz (5500 MHz effective)
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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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