NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 vs AMD Radeon R9 280X

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
AMD Radeon R9 280X

General info

Comparison of GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X architecture, market type and release date.
Place in performance rating
 
Value for money (0-100)
37.11
 
n/d
Architecture
Maxwell 2.0
 
GCN 1.0
Code name
GM206
 
Tahiti
Type
Desktop
 
Desktop
Design
n/d
 
reference
Release date
22 January 2015
 
8 October 2013
Launch price (MSRP)
$199
 
$299
Price now
$260.03
 
n/d

Technical specs

GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X's general performance parameters such as number of shaders, GPU core clock, manufacturing process, texturing and calculation speed. These parameters indirectly speak of GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X's performance, but for precise assessment you have to consider its benchmark and gaming test results.
Pipelines
1024
 
2048
CUDA cores
1024
 
n/d
Core clock speed
1127 MHz
 
n/d
Boost Clock
1178 MHz
 
1000 MHz
Transistor count
2,940 million
 
4,313 million
Manufacturing process technology
28 nm
 
28 nm
Power consumption (TDP)
120 Watt
 
250 Watt
Texture fill rate
72 billion / sec
 
128.0 GTexel / s
Floating-point performance
2,413 gflops
 
4,096 gflops

Compatibility, dimensions and requirements

Information on GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X compatibility with other computer components. Useful when choosing a future computer configuration or upgrading an existing one. For desktop video cards it's interface and bus (motherboard compatibility), additional power connectors (power supply compatibility).
Bus support
PCI Express 3.0
 
PCIe 3.0
Interface
PCIe 3.0 x16
 
PCIe 3.0 x16
Length
9.5" (24.1 cm)
 
275 mm
Height
4.376" (11.1 cm)
 
n/d
Recommended system power (PSU)
400 Watt
 
n/d
Supplementary power connectors
1x 6-pins
 
1 x 6-pin + 1 x 8-pin
SLI options
2x
 
-

Memory

Parameters of memory installed on GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X: its type, size, bus, clock and resulting bandwidth. Note that GPUs integrated into processors don't have dedicated memory and use a shared part of system RAM.
Memory type
GDDR5
 
GDDR5
Maximum RAM amount
2 GB
 
3 GB
Memory bus width
128 Bit
 
384 Bit
Memory clock speed
7.0 GB/s
 
n/d
Memory bandwidth
112 GB / s
 
288 GB / s
Shared memory
-
 
-

Video outputs and ports

Types and number of video connectors present on GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X.
Display Connectors
1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
 
2x DVI, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort
Display Connectors
Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2
 
n/d
Multi monitor support
4 displays
 
n/d
Eyefinity
-
 
+
HDMI
-
 
+
HDCP
+
 
-
Maximum VGA resolution
2048x1536
 
n/d
DisplayPort support
-
 
+
Audio input for HDMI
Internal
 
n/d

Technologies

Technological solutions and APIs supported by GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X. You'll probably need this information if you need some particular technology for your purposes.
AppAcceleration
-
 
+
CrossFire
-
 
+
FreeSync
-
 
+
HD3D
-
 
+
LiquidVR
-
 
+
TressFX
-
 
+
TrueAudio
-
 
+
UVD
-
 
+
DDMA audio
n/d
 
+
GameStream
+
 
-
GeForce ShadowPlay
+
 
-
GPU Boost
2.0
 
n/d
GameWorks
+
 
-
CUDA
+
 
-
Eyefinity
n/d
 
+

API support

APIs supported by GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X, sometimes including their particular versions.
DirectX
12.0 (12_1)
 
DirectX® 12
OpenGL
4.4
 
4.6
Vulkan
+
 
+

Benchmark performance

Non-gaming benchmarks performance of GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X. Note that overall benchmark performance is measured in points in 0-100 range.

Overall benchmark performance

GTX 960 30.22
R9 280X 30.33 +0.4%

3DMark Ice Storm GPU

GTX 960 310860 +8.9%
R9 280X 285376

3DMark Cloud Gate GPU

GTX 960 49918
R9 280X 52117 +4.4%

3DMark Fire Strike Score

GTX 960 6699
R9 280X 7368 +10%

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics

GTX 960 7916
R9 280X 8343 +5.4%

3DMark 11 Performance GPU

GTX 960 10768
R9 280X 10792 +0.2%

3DMark Vantage Performance

GTX 960 30751
R9 280X 33045 +7.5%

Unigine Heaven 4.0

GTX 960 866
R9 280X 1017 +17.4%

Passmark

GTX 960 5815
R9 280X 5837 +0.4%

Rendering quality tests

GFXBench render quality
4541 −0.2%
 
4549 +0.2%
GFXBench high precision render quality
4541 −0.2%
 
4549 +0.2%

Mining hashrates

Cryptocurrency mining performance of GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X. Usually measured in megahashes per second.
Bitcoin / BTC (SHA256)
318 Mh/s −55.3%
 
494 Mh/s +55.3%
Decred / DCR (Decred)
0.92 Gh/s −16.3%
 
1.07 Gh/s +16.3%
Ethereum / ETH (DaggerHashimoto)
8 Mh/s −80.3%
 
14.42 Mh/s +80.3%
Monero / XMR (CryptoNight)
0.27 kh/s −85.2%
 
0.5 kh/s +85.2%
Zcash / ZEC (Equihash)
141.47 Sol/s −101.5%
 
285 Sol/s +101.5%

Gaming performance

Let's see how good GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X are for gaming. Particular gaming benchmark results are measured in FPS.

Advantages of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960

Much newer (22 January 2015 vs 8 October 2013)
Cheaper ($199 vs $299)
Less power hungry (120 vs 250 watts)
Vulkan (a contemporary API for graphics acceleration, based on now-discontinued Mantle)
HDCP
GameStream (streams data between the PC and NVIDIA SHIELD device attached to a TV. Basically allows using the PC as a gaming console)
GeForce ShadowPlay
GameWorks
CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture - an API for video card computing power usage in tasks different from 3D graphics processing. Can be used for physics simulation for instance)

Advantages of AMD Radeon R9 280X

0.4% faster in synthetic tests
Wider memory bus (384 vs 128 bit)
More pipelines (2048 vs 1024)
Higher memory bandwidth (288 vs 112 GB/s)
Mantle (an API developed by AMD for 3D graphics acceleration. Discontinued and later superceded by Vulkan)
Eyefinity (allows using several displays with an AMD GPU)
App Acceleration
CrossFire
PowerTune (dynamically increases AMD GPU's voltage and frequency while there's still enough temperature headroom. Similar to NVIDIA GPU Boost)
ZeroCore
HD3D
DirectX® 12
OpenGL® 4.3
OpenCL™
HDMI
DisplayPort support
AppAcceleration
FreeSync
LiquidVR
TressFX
TrueAudio
UVD

So, GTX 960 or R9 280X?

Technical City couldn't decide between NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 and AMD Radeon R9 280X. The differences in performance seem too small.
Should you still have questions on choice between GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 280X, ask them in Comments section, and we shall answer.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
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