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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 features a GPU clock speed of 602 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 RAM is set to run at 1107 MHz through a 512-bit bus. It also features 240 Stream Processors, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5870, which features GPU clock speed of 850 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 48 Watts (26%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 5870 should in theory be a bit superior to the GeForce GTX 280 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 11904 (8%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is quite a bit (about 41%) more effective at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 19840 (41%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is superior to the GeForce GTX 280, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 7936 (41%)

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 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5870

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 5870
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 September 23, 2009
Code Name G200 Cypress XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 188 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1600(320x5)
Texture Mapping Units 80 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card 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 maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5870

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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