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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Radeon HD 5870 Mac

Reasons to consider the
ATi Radeon HD 5870 Mac

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Much higher effective memory clock speed 4,780 MHz vs 1,600 MHz Around 3x higher effective memory clock speed
Much higher memory bandwidth 153 GB/s vs 25.6 GB/s Around 6x higher memory bandwidth
Higher clock speed 850 MHz vs 550 MHz Around 55% higher clock speed
Significantly better floating-point performance 2,720 GFLOPS vs 89.6 GFLOPS More than 30.2x better floating-point performance
Many more shading units 1,600 vs 32 1568 more shading units
Higher texture rate 68 GTexel/s vs 8.8 GTexel/s Around 7.8x higher texture rate
Higher pixel rate 27.2 GPixel/s vs 4.4 GPixel/s Around 6.2x higher pixel rate
Significantly more texture mapping units 80 vs 16 64 more texture mapping units
Significantly more render output processors 32 vs 8 24 more render output processors
Significantly higher memory clock speed 1,195 MHz vs 800 MHz Around 50% higher memory clock speed
Wider memory bus 256 bit vs 128 bit 2x wider memory bus
Front view of GeForce GT 120 Mac

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GT 120 Mac

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Much lower TDP 50W vs 228W 4.6x lower TDP

Features Key features of the Radeon HD 5870 Mac  vs GeForce GT 120 Mac 

memory bandwidth Rate at which data can be read from or stored in onboard memory

pixel rate Number of pixels a graphics card can render to the screen every second

Radeon HD 5870 Mac
27.2 GPixel/s
GeForce GT 120 Mac
4.4 GPixel/s

texture rate Speed at which a graphics card can perform texture mapping

Radeon HD 5870 Mac
68 GTexel/s
GeForce GT 120 Mac
8.8 GTexel/s

floating point performance How fast the gpu can crunch numbers

Radeon HD 5870 Mac
2,720 GFLOPS
GeForce GT 120 Mac
89.6 GFLOPS

shading units Subcomponents of the gpu, these run in parallel to enable fast pixel shading

texture mapping units Built into each gpu, these resize and rotate bitmaps for texturing scenes

Specifications Full list of technical specs

gpu

Radeon HD 5870 Mac  vs
GeForce GT 120 Mac 
GPU brand ATI Nvidia
GPU name Cypress G96 C1
Market Desktop Desktop
Clock speed 850 MHz 550 MHz
Is dual GPU No No
Reference card None None

raw performance

Shading units 1,600 32
Texture mapping units 80 16
Render output processors 32 8
Pixel rate 27.2 GPixel/s 4.4 GPixel/s
Texture rate 68 GTexel/s 8.8 GTexel/s
Floating-point performance 2,720 GFLOPS 89.6 GFLOPS

memory

Radeon HD 5870 Mac  vs
GeForce GT 120 Mac 
Memory clock speed 1,195 MHz 800 MHz
Effective memory clock speed 4,780 MHz 1,600 MHz
Memory bus 256 bit 128 bit
Memory 1,024 MB 512 MB
Memory type GDDR5 GDDR3
Memory bandwidth 153 GB/s 25.6 GB/s

noise and power

TDP 228W 50W

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