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GeForce GTX 480 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 480 has core clock speeds of 700 MHz on the GPU, and 924 MHz on the 1536 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 480 SPUs along with 60 Texture Address Units and 48 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6850, which features core speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 960 SPUs along with 48 Texture Address Units 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

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 480 should perform a lot faster than the Radeon HD 6850 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 480 should be a bit (more or less 13%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 480 is much (about 35%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 6850, and also able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (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 information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's 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 bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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