Compare any two graphics cards:
GeForce GTX 580 3GB vs Radeon HD 5970
IntroThe GeForce GTX 580 3GB uses a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core frequency at 772 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1002 MHz on this model. It features 512 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5970, which comes with a core clock speed of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1600 SPUs, 160 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.
(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 5970 should in theory be quite a bit superior to the GeForce GTX 580 3GB overall. (explain)
Texel RateThe Radeon HD 5970 is much (about 370%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce GTX 580 3GB. (explain)
Pixel RateThe Radeon HD 5970 is a lot (approximately 150%) faster with regards to FSAA than the GeForce GTX 580 3GB, and will be able to handle higher resolutions better. (explain)
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.
One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock 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 processed in a second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs 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 is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.