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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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Significantly higher effective memory clock speed 4,780 MHz vs 2,484 MHz More than 90% higher effective memory clock speed
Higher clock speed 850 MHz vs 648 MHz More than 30% higher clock speed
Better floating-point performance 2,720 GFLOPS vs 708.5 GFLOPS More than 3.8x better floating-point performance
Significantly more shading units 1,600 vs 240 1360 more shading units
Slightly higher texture rate 68 GTexel/s vs 51.84 GTexel/s More than 30% higher texture rate
Front view of GeForce GTX 285 Mac

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 Mac

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Much wider memory bus 512 bit vs 256 bit 2x wider memory bus
Lower TDP 204W vs 228W More than 10% lower TDP

Features Key features of the Radeon HD 5870 Mac  vs GeForce GTX 285 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 GTX 285 Mac
20.74 GPixel/s

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

Radeon HD 5870 Mac
68 GTexel/s
GeForce GTX 285 Mac
51.84 GTexel/s

floating point performance How fast the gpu can crunch numbers

Radeon HD 5870 Mac
2,720 GFLOPS
GeForce GTX 285 Mac
708.5 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 GTX 285 Mac 
GPU brand ATI Nvidia
GPU name Cypress GT200 B3
Market Desktop Desktop
Clock speed 850 MHz 648 MHz
Is dual GPU No No
Reference card None None

raw performance

Shading units 1,600 240
Texture mapping units 80 80
Render output processors 32 32
Pixel rate 27.2 GPixel/s 20.74 GPixel/s
Texture rate 68 GTexel/s 51.84 GTexel/s
Floating-point performance 2,720 GFLOPS 708.5 GFLOPS

memory

Radeon HD 5870 Mac  vs
GeForce GTX 285 Mac 
Memory clock speed 1,195 MHz 1,242 MHz
Effective memory clock speed 4,780 MHz 2,484 MHz
Memory bus 256 bit 512 bit
Memory 1,024 MB 1,024 MB
Memory type GDDR5 GDDR3
Memory bandwidth 153 GB/s 159 GB/s

noise and power

TDP 228W 204W

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