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GeForce GTX 580 3GB vs Radeon HD 6970


The GeForce GTX 580 3GB uses a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 772 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1002 MHz on this particular card. It features 512 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 48 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6970, which has GPU core speed of 880 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1536 Stream Processors, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 580 3GB 244 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 6 Watts (2%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 580 3GB should be just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 6970 overall. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 3GB 192384 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
Difference: 16384 (9%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 should be quite a bit (about 71%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 580 3GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 580 3GB 49408 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 35072 (71%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 580 3GB is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 3GB 37056 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8896 (32%)

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 3GB

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6970

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.


Display Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 580 3GB Radeon HD 6970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2010 December 2010
Code Name GF110 Cayman XT
Memory 3072 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 772 MHz 880 MHz
Memory Speed 4008 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 244 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 192384 MB/sec 176000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 49408 Mtexels/sec 84480 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 37056 Mpixels/sec 28160 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 512 1536
Texture Mapping Units 64 96
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 max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock 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 processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 580 3GB

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6970

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.


18 Responses to “GeForce GTX 580 3GB vs Radeon HD 6970”
Bruno Luiz says:

This my dream 🙂

Bruno Luiz says:

GOOOOD fight

Janus says:

Does this site lean to Nvidia side on those power graps or is there just something simply wrong with the one writing em?

Power consumption numbers for gtx 500 series are fucked up

admin says:

@Janus: I got the power numbers from Wikipedia. They should be the max power draw under load. Unless Wikipedia got it wrong... which is always possible.

I just checked's list, and the numbers are the same there as well.

How are they wrong?

Bjørn says:

No, they're wrong, 580 1.5GB goes well above 300W when under load.

admin says:

Do you have a source link for that so I can get the exact numbers?

huh? says:

what kind of speculative, unsubstantiated garbage is this? How do you get away with posting crap like this and still manage to have any readers?

admin says:

@huh?: Do you have a correction to make to the info here? We got our information either from Wikipedia or from TechARP. All we did with it is some calculations and made pretty graphs. If our original information is wrong, then the pretty graphs will be wrong too. I have made some corrections to a few things recently that turned out were input wrong... annoying, but it happens. Power consumption is max TDP, I edited the titles to make that more clear.

k says:

admin, don't mind these ppl. Although here it says the power draw is pretty different:
Btw, this site is very nice, so thanks! I hope you will support CPU comparison, too!

admin says:

Thanks k 🙂 We do plan to add CPU comparisons in the future actually.

That Anandtech comparison has the power usage as total system power draw (as in, not just the card alone). I think the sources we use are probably the card alone. Though I'm not sure how they would go about measuring that... but anyway, here's Wikipedia's source for the power numbers:

James says:

Of course those stats are pretty close to the real deal except for different manufacturers like Evga,xfx,Sapphire,HIS all change each card to their own liking but being rude is un called for.

gangsta fred says:

you are all a bunch of whores

Sid says:

Come on,"gangsta fred",forums and communities only exist because of arguing over such trivial matters.Besides,the only right result is the one you measure yourself.However,nobody has the money to buy all of that,and we're forced to believe others.

M0HAX says:

Good job!

Bruder95 says:

harter kampf trotzdem gtx580 bisschen besser

Vemri says:

i was a "red" side big fans. but don't know some how i found that physx in "green" has more secret weapon in its "pocket".
and here am i using my 580 lightening, and it runs very perfect for kicking all latest game ass.

Gareth says:

@Huh you are what people call a doos. Thanks for the input. The website clearly states more or less and that the performance may vary in real life. I have been using this website for years. Thanks!!!

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