Select any two GPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Radeon HD 6870 Sapphire Dirt3 Edition Radeon R9 280X Gigabyte 3GB OC Edition
Red Dead Redemption 2 186% 40%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 186% 40%
Cyberpunk 2077 293% 92%
Fortnite: Chapter 2 31% 36%
Need For Speed Heat 186% 40%
The Outer Worlds 138% 16%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 293% 92%
Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip 168% 30%
Borderlands 3 202% 47%
FIFA 20 53% 26%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon R9 280X Gigabyte 3GB OC Edition are massively better than the AMD Radeon HD 6870 Sapphire Dirt3 Edition.

The R9 280X has a 80 MHz higher core clock speed and 72 more Texture Mapping Units than the HD 6870. This results in the R9 280X providing 76.5 GTexel/s better texturing performance. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The R9 280X has a 80 MHz higher core clock speed than the HD 6870 and the same number of Render Output Units. This results in the R9 280X providing 2.6 GPixel/s better pixeling performance. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The R9 280X was released over three years more recently than the HD 6870, and so the R9 280X is likely to have far better driver support, meaning it will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the HD 6870 when running the latest games.

The R9 280X has 2048 MB more video memory than the HD 6870, so is likely to be much better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the R9 280X also has superior memory performance overall.

The R9 280X has 153.6 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the HD 6870, which means that the memory performance of the R9 280X is massively better than the HD 6870.

The Radeon HD 6870 Sapphire Dirt3 Edition has 1120 Shader Processing Units and the Radeon R9 280X Gigabyte 3GB OC Edition has 2048. However, the actual shader performance of the HD 6870 is 515 and the actual shader performance of the R9 280X is 1915. The R9 280X having 1400 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the R9 280X delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the HD 6870.

The R9 280X transistor size technology is 12 nm (nanometers) smaller than the HD 6870. This means that the R9 280X is expected to run slightly cooler and achieve higher clock frequencies than the HD 6870.

The Radeon HD 6870 Sapphire Dirt3 Edition requires 251 Watts to run and the Radeon R9 280X Gigabyte 3GB OC Edition requires 250 Watts. We would recommend a PSU with at least 500 Watts for the HD 6870 and a PSU with at least 600 Watts for the R9 280X. The HD 6870 requires 1 Watts more than the R9 280X to run. The difference is not significant enough for the HD 6870 to have a noticeably larger impact on your yearly electricity bills than the R9 280X.

GPU Architecture

Core Speed920 MHzvs1000 MHz
Boost Clock-vs1100 MHz
ArchitectureTerascale 2 Barts XTGCN 1.0 Tahiti XTL
OC Potential Poor vs Poor
Driver Support Poor vs Great
Release Date01 Oct 2010vs09 Oct 2013
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved
Comparison

Resolution Performance

1366x768 - green tick vs green tick -
1600x900
8
vs green tick
10
1920x1080
6.1
vs green tick
8.7
2560x1440
4.3
vs green tick
6.5
3840x2160 - vs green tick
5

GPU Memory

Memory1024 MBvs3072 MB
Memory Speed1050 MHzvs1500 MHz
Memory Bus256 Bitvs384 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth134.4GB/secvs288GB/sec
L2 Cache 512 KB vs green tick 768 KB
Delta Color Compression no vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%
Comparison

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units1120vs2048
Actual Shader Performance25%vs92%
Technology40nmvs28nm
Texture Mapping Units56vs128
Texture Rate51.5 GTexel/svs128 GTexel/s
Render Output Units32vs32
Pixel Rate29.4 GPixel/svs32 GPixel/s
Comparison

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)2560x1600vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections2vs1
HDMI Connections1vs1
DisplayPort Connections-vs-
Comparison

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power251 Wattsvs250 Watts
Recommended PSU500 Wattsvs600 Watts

GPU Features

DirectX11.0vs12.0
Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.3vs4.4
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono
SLI/Crossfireyesvsyes
Dedicatedyesvsyes
Comparison

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i5-760 2.8GHzvsIntel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution1920x1080vs1920x1080

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewRadeon HD 6870 Sapphire Dirt3 Edition is a special edition of the high-end Radeon HD 6870 that features a small increase in the core-clock and a new cooling system called WindForce 3X.
The GPU runs cooler but the performance boost is of only 1% according to most benchmarks.
Radeon R9 280X Gigabyte 3GB OC Edition is a special edition of the high-end Radeon R9 280X.
This edition comes with a custom cooling system called "WindForce", which reduces the card's temperature under load, significantly and comes overclocked out of the box in the central unit that was increased from 850MHz to 1000MHz, while the Boost clock is now of 1100MHz.
Benchmarks indicate a 5% performance boost over the standard edition and so this card offers the same performance a GeForce GTX 770 does.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
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GPU Variants
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