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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 772 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1002 MHz on this specific card. It features 512 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6950, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this specific model. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Benchmarks

These are real-world performance benchmarks that were submitted by Hardware Compare users. The scores seen here are the average of all benchmarks submitted for each respective test and hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score

GeForce GTX 580 4956 points
Radeon HD 6950 3240 points
Difference: 1716 (53%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
GeForce GTX 580 244 Watts
Difference: 44 Watts (22%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 580 should be a bit faster than the Radeon HD 6950 overall. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 192384 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Difference: 32384 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 is quite a bit (more or less 42%) better at anisotropic filtering than the GeForce GTX 580. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 580 49408 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 20992 (42%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 580 should be a lot (about 45%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 6950, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 37056 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 11456 (45%)

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 580

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 580 Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2010 December 2010
Code Name GF110 Cayman Pro
Memory 1536 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 772 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 4008 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 244 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 192384 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 49408 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 37056 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 512 1408
Texture Mapping Units 64 88
Render Output Units 48 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 3000 million 2640 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 data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core 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 also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 580

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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