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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a GPU core speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also is made up of 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5970, which has a GPU core clock speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600 Stream Processors, 160 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 58 Watts (25%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 5970, in theory, should perform a lot faster than the GeForce GTX 280 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 114304 (81%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be much (about 382%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 183840 (382%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is the winner, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 73536 (382%)

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.

Price Comparison

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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 280 Radeon HD 5970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 November 2009
Code Name G200 Hemlock XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 602 MHz 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 80 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 32 64 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 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. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video 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 chip could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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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