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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with core clock speeds of 602 MHz on the GPU, and 1107 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 240 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6970, which comes with clock speeds of 880 MHz on the GPU, and 1375 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 14 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 6970 should in theory perform much faster than the GeForce GTX 280 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 34304 (24%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 is a lot (more or less 75%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 36320 (75%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 is quite a bit (about 46%) more effective at FSAA than the GeForce GTX 280, and capable of handling higher resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8896 (46%)

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 6970

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 6970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 December 2010
Code Name G200 Cayman XT
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 880 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 176000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 84480 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 28160 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 40 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2640 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6970

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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