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Important specs on GPUs

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 22, 2012 5:00:50 PM

Hey, guys.

Something I've always had a hard time understanding is how to look at GPU specs. For CPUs, it's relatively simple: Look at your clock speed, your level 3 Cache, and what the port type is (e.g.. LGA 1155). I know what a good clock speed is, and I know that having 15MB of Level 3 Cache is really good. However, I don't know how to look at a GPUs stats the same way. Can someone help me out here.

An explanation of what the different stats mean and how they factor into the overall performance of the card would be ideal.

Thanks for making an awesome community where I can freely ask questions such as this!

-Alpha Spartan A

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a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 5:15:09 PM

IN GPUs the important stats are the number of processors (stream or CUDA depending on brand), core speed, architecture age, and memory bandwidth.

You can not directly compare specs on ATI/AMD and Nvidia cards.

Within the same chip maker and the same generation, more processing cores, faster clock speed and more bandwidth are better.

For example: AMD 7850 has 1024 cores, a 7970 has 2048 cores (double).
7850 has a 256bit bandwidth, 7970 has 384 bit bandwidth, and so on. The 7970 is much faster than as 7850 (70-80% in most cases).

An AMD 6950 has 1440 cores, but a 7850 with 1024 cores has fewer cores, but is faster, because if the newer architecture (generation).

An AMD 6950 has 1440 cores, a Nvidia 580 has 512 cores, but the 580 is faster, due completely different chip designs.
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a c 181 U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 5:35:21 PM

Truthfully it's all rubbish, just look at benchmarks.
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July 23, 2012 12:44:54 AM

Always look at the benchmarks.
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July 23, 2012 1:19:30 AM

Even in the case of CPUs, you still have to look at the benchmarks to get a clear picture. Never forget the lesson of Netburst: clock speed is the worst single factor to consider when comparing processors. Pipeline depth and scheduling are far more important than pure clock speed. Intel seems to have learned their lesson well. Efficiency improvements have been impressive throughout the development of each generation of the Core series.
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July 30, 2012 1:28:24 AM

Best answer selected by Alpha Spartan A.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 9:31:25 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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