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GeForce GTX 480 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

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

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6850, which features GPU core speed of 775 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 960 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation 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 should in theory be 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 is a small bit (about 13%) better at 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 using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 480 is the winner, by far. (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 maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount 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 rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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