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GeForce GTX 980 vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The GeForce GTX 980 has a clock frequency of 1126 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1750 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 2048 SPUs, 128 Texture Address Units, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which comes with core clock speeds of 750 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 980 165 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 X2 350 Watts
Difference: 185 Watts (112%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be 3% quicker than the GeForce GTX 980 overall, because of its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 230400 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 980 224000 MB/sec
Difference: 6400 (3%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 980 should be quite a bit (more or less 140%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 X2. (explain)

GeForce GTX 980 144128 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 X2 60000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 84128 (140%)

Pixel Rate

The GeForce GTX 980 should be a lot (approximately 200%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4870 X2, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

GeForce GTX 980 72064 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 X2 24000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 48064 (200%)

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 980

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 4870 X2

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 980 Radeon HD 4870 X2
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year September 2014 Aug 12, 2008
Code Name GM204-400 R700
Memory 4096 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 1126 MHz 750 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 7000 MHz 3600 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 165 watts 350 watts
Bandwidth 224000 MB/sec 230400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 144128 Mtexels/sec 60000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 72064 Mpixels/sec 24000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 2048 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 128 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 64 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 28 nm 55 nm
Transistors 5200 million 956 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge)
DirectX Version DirectX 11.2 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.5 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 980

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 X2

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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