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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 has a clock speed 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 is comprised of 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which has a core clock frequency of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1500 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 51 Watts (28%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 7870 XT should perform quite a bit faster than the GeForce GTX 280 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 50304 (36%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT will be much (approximately 84%) more effective at AF than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 40640 (84%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT will be much (approximately 54%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 280, and should be capable of handling higher resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10336 (54%)

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 7870 XT

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 7870 XT
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 November 2012
Code Name G200 Tahiti LE
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1536
Texture Mapping Units 80 96
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1400 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

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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