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GeForce GTX 480 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 480 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 700 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 924 MHz on this card. It features 480 SPUs along with 60 TAUs and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6850, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 960 SPUs along with 48 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
GeForce GTX 480 250 Watts
Difference: 123 Watts (97%)

Memory Bandwidth

The GeForce GTX 480, in theory, should be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 6850 in general. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 177408 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 49408 (39%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 480 will be a small bit (about 13%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 42000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4800 (13%)

Pixel Rate

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 480 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 480 33600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8800 (35%)

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 480

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 6850

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 480 Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2010 October 2010
Code Name GF100 Barts Pro
Memory 1536 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 700 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 3696 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 177408 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 42000 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 33600 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 480 960
Texture Mapping Units 60 48
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 3000 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen 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 texture units by the core clock 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 in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a 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 - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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