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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 speed at 700 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 924 MHz on this model. It features 480 SPUs as well as 60 Texture Address Units and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6850, which comes with core speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 960 SPUs as well as 48 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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 is 39% quicker than the Radeon HD 6850 in general, due to its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 480 should be just a bit (about 13%) better at texture 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 should be a lot (approximately 35%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 6850, and able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core 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 one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel 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.

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