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GeForce GTX 480 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 480 features a clock speed of 700 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 924 MHz. It also makes use of a 384-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 480 SPUs, 60 Texture Address Units, and 48 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6850, which comes with clock 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 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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, the GeForce GTX 480 should be quite a bit 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 just a bit (about 13%) better at 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 should be a lot (approximately 35%) better at FSAA than the Radeon HD 6850, and also should be 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

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

Model GeForce GTX 480 Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2010 October 2010
Code Name GF100 Barts Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
Memory 1536 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 700 MHz 775 MHz
Shader Speed 1401 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 924 MHz (3696 MHz effective) 1000 MHz (4000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 480 960
Texture Mapping Units 60 48
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 127 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 177408 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 42000 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 33600 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card 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 number of pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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