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GeForce GTX 590 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The GeForce GTX 590 comes with a clock frequency of 607 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 855 MHz. It also features a 384-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 512 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 48 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6950, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1250 MHz on this specific card. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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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 590 6680 points
Radeon HD 6950 3240 points
Difference: 3440 (106%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
GeForce GTX 590 365 Watts
Difference: 165 Watts (83%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the GeForce GTX 590 should perform much faster than the Radeon HD 6950 overall. (explain)

GeForce GTX 590 328320 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Difference: 168320 (105%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 590 is just a bit (approximately 10%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 6950. (explain)

GeForce GTX 590 77696 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7296 (10%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 590 should be much (approximately 128%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6950, and should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

GeForce GTX 590 58272 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 32672 (128%)

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 590

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 590 Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 2011 December 2010
Code Name GF110 Cayman Pro
Memory 1536 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 607 MHz (x2) 800 MHz
Memory Speed 3420 MHz (x2) 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 365 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 328320 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 77696 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 58272 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 512 (x2) 1408
Texture Mapping Units 64 (x2) 88
Render Output Units 48 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 3000 million 2640 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 590

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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