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GeForce GTX 480 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The GeForce GTX 480 features clock speeds of 700 MHz on the GPU, and 924 MHz on the 1536 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 480 SPUs as well as 60 TAUs and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6850, which features a GPU core clock speed of 775 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 960 Stream Processors, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(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

In theory, the GeForce GTX 480 should be much 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 should be just a bit (about 13%) more effective 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 is much (approximately 35%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6850, and also should be able to handle higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (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 maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 can be processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video 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 can possibly write 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 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 also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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