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GeForce GTX 460 2GB vs Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 460 2GB comes with a GPU clock speed of 675 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 336 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4870 1GB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 900 MHz on this particular card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 1GB 150 Watts
GeForce GTX 460 2GB 160 Watts
Difference: 10 Watts (7%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have exactly the same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 460 2GB will be quite a bit (about 26%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 460 2GB 37800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7800 (26%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 460 2GB will be much (more or less 80%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

GeForce GTX 460 2GB 21600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 9600 (80%)

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 460 2GB

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

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 460 2GB Radeon HD 4870 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year July 2010 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name GF104 RV770 XT
Memory 2048 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 675 MHz 750 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 3600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 160 watts 150 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 37800 Mtexels/sec 30000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 21600 Mpixels/sec 12000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 336 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 56 40
Render Output Units 32 16
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Transistors 1950 million 956 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one 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 card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines 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 output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 460 2GB

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

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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