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GeForce GTX 970 vs Radeon R9 280

Intro

The GeForce GTX 970 comes with a clock frequency of 1050 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1750 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1664 SPUs, 104 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 280, which comes with core clock speeds of 933 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1792 SPUs as well as 112 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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 970 10867 points
Radeon R9 280 7961 points
Difference: 2906 (37%)

Zcash Mining Hash Rate

GeForce GTX 970 262 Sol/s
Radeon R9 280 183 Sol/s
Difference: 79 (43%)

Ethereum Mining Hash Rate

Radeon R9 280 22 Mh/s
GeForce GTX 970 19 Mh/s
Difference: 3 (16%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 970 145 Watts
Radeon R9 280 250 Watts
Difference: 105 Watts (72%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon R9 280 should be 7% faster than the GeForce GTX 970 overall, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon R9 280 240000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 970 224000 MB/sec
Difference: 16000 (7%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 970 will be a bit (approximately 5%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon R9 280. (explain)

GeForce GTX 970 109200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon R9 280 104496 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4704 (5%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 970 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 970 67200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon R9 280 29856 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 37344 (125%)

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 970

Amazon.com

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Radeon R9 280

Amazon.com

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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 970 Radeon R9 280
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2014 March 2014
Code Name GM204-200 Tahiti Pro
Memory 4096 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 1050 MHz 933 MHz
Memory Speed 7000 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 145 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 224000 MB/sec 240000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 109200 Mtexels/sec 104496 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 67200 Mpixels/sec 29856 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1664 1792
Texture Mapping Units 104 112
Render Output Units 64 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 5200 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.2 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.5 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon R9 280

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.

Comments

2 Responses to “GeForce GTX 970 vs Radeon R9 280”
AJ says:

So, these two cards are pretty much the same, exept at higher resolutions. I got my r9 280 at $130 after Mail in rebate, making it so that you could get three of these for a little bit more than one of the 970's. Wow.

Dennis says:

No, you can't compare them. The GTX 970 is faster than a R9 290 and takes only a bit over half the power and is also much cooler. Also, the GTX 970 has a 'real world bandwidth' of ~300 GB/sec, what would be ~25% more - it has this compression technique like the new R9 285, just much better. The Texel Rate isn't really important, because even graphics cards years ago didn't have problems with AF anymore - you can try it yourself: Let the game run with 16xAF and then let it run with 4xAF - almost no performance difference but much cleaner picture...

I've had the Sapphire R9 280 Dual-X and now I'm upgrading to a GTX 970. It's a big difference, not only a small. YOu can throw EVERY game on it with MAX details at 1080p and you'll get stable 60fps... On some older games you can even downsample or run at 4K, like Mirror's Edge. With my R9 280 I sometimes didn't even get 60fps with High Settings @ 1080p and 4xMSAA.

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