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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 has a core clock frequency of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1107 MHz. It also uses a 512-bit memory bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It features 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5970, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular model. It features 1600 SPUs as well as 160 Texture Address Units and 64 ROPs.

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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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5970 should be 81% faster than the GeForce GTX 280 in general, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 is much (approximately 382%) better at 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 screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is a better choice, by far. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number 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 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 card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock 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 is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum 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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