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GeForce GTX 260 vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The GeForce GTX 260 features core clock speeds of 576 MHz on the GPU, and 999 MHz on the 896 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 192 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 28 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5970, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this specific card. It features 1600 SPUs along with 160 Texture Address Units and 64 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce GTX 260 182 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 112 Watts (62%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 5970 should be 129% quicker than the GeForce GTX 260 in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 260 111888 MB/sec
Difference: 144112 (129%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 will be much (more or less 529%) faster with regards to AF than the GeForce GTX 260. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 260 36864 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 195136 (529%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 will be much (about 475%) more effective at AA than the GeForce GTX 260, and will be able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 260 16128 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 76672 (475%)

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 260

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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 260 Radeon HD 5970
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 16, 2008 November 2009
Code Name G200 Hemlock XT
Memory 896 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 576 MHz 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1998 MHz 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 182 watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 111888 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 36864 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 16128 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 192 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 28 64 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 448-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1400 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better 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 can be applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 260

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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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