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GeForce GTX 980 vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The GeForce GTX 980 comes with core clock speeds of 1126 MHz on the GPU, and 1750 MHz on the 4096 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 TAUs and 64 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 900 MHz on this particular model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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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

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 should in theory be a little bit superior to the GeForce GTX 980 overall. (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 anisotropic 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 is quite a bit (about 200%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4870 X2, and also will be capable of handling higher 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

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.

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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum 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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